A ‘Chest’ full of garbage

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”

Walt Disney Pictures

Directed by Gore Verbinski

Written by Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio

Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy and Jack Davenport

Rated PG-13/150 minutes

Opened July 7, 2006

One-and-a-half out of four stars

Was “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” made with the intent to entertain us or to see how long we’ll indifferently stare at a flashing wall?

This movie bets you’ll stare at that wall for two-and-a-half hours, and it will win that bet to the jolly tune of $100 million during opening weekend.

Watching “Dead Man’s Chest,” I felt some sense of a story being told-and a long one at that-with more characters and plot and clash-clash-CLANG than I could possibly care about.

My eyes watched a screen full of spectacular stunts, awesome sets and incomparable special effects, and my brain went, “Eh. So what?”

It’s incredibly sad that “Dead Man’s Chest” is so thoroughly un-engaging. Countless audience members will go into the movie carrying a boatload of affection for 2003’s “Curse of the Black Pearl,” and those people may even convince themselves that they’re having a good time.

But in reality, “Dead Man’s Chest” is not a good time-it’s a tease of what a “good time” could be if writers Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio had assembled a story that wasn’t simply plot points and characters rushing from here to there, fetching this and that.

Johnny Depp is back as the stumbling, sun-baked pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow. He’s on the run from Davey Jones (Bill Nighy), a squid-faced crustacean villain who is such a monumental achievement of special-effects technology that I can’t believe I just wrote that instead of something more impressive, such as, “the movie has drama and characters that we can give a damn about.”

Let’s see if I can explain the rest of the story without my eyes glazing over, or at least before September comes: Will (Orlando Bloom) must find Jack so he can get Jack’s magic compass for Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Holland), who in turn will pardon Will and Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) for aiding and abetting Jack in the first movie.

Jack, meanwhile, must pay off his debt to Davey Jones, so Jack tricks Will into going aboard Jones’ ship, where Will meets his long-lost father, Bootstrap Bill (Stellan Skarsgard), who helps Will get the key to the Dead Man’s Chest, which holds a heart (an actual heart, still beating!) that can control the ocean and possibly the Kraken, a giant sea creature that sinks not one, not two, but three ships in three very similar ways.

Jack searches for the chest using the magic compass that Will and Elizabeth and Lord Beckett want for different reasons, and?

Ah, to hell with it. “Dead Man’s Chest” would make a better theme park ride than a movie-if only it were 10 minutes long instead of 150.

Yeah, there’s an idea. A theme park ride?in Disneyland, maybe?

“Well, I says to Janeane, I says, ‘that boil-you know, on yer face-that boil’s bigger’n m’ fist.” The cast of “Pirates of the Carribean