, Orlando Bloom
, Keira Knightley
, Bill Nighy
runs like a girl, his arms outstretched and fluttering. It's one of the amusingly fey traits he piles on for his second go-round as Captain Jack Sparrow, the most heavily kohl-eyed pirate ever to sail across the screen. It's funny the first time. You chuckle the second. But by the third scamper, the bit is growing stale.
The overuse of this literal running joke is symptomatic of the problems plaguing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
, an overblown sequel to the 2003 blockbuster. Halfway through—and it's 2½ hours long—what should have been a romp begins to feel like an uninspired, special effects-saturated slog. It doesn't help that the hard-to-follow plot loads on the complications. Ten-year-old viewers will be able to explain its every twist, but no one older will be interested enough to bother paying the avid attention required.
Chest again pits sweethearts Elizabeth Swann (Knightley) and Will Turner (Bloom), along with pal Captain Jack, against assorted perils. These include a giant sea monster and a legendary dead sailor, Davy Jones (Nighy), here a scary, peg-legged man with an octopus's face. His heart, still beating, is locked in a chest. Eventually, everyone is pursuing this macabre treasure. "Whoever controls the chest controls the sea," someone helpfully explains.
Knightley and Bloom have little to do but periodically look aggrieved and serve as foils for Depp's shenanigans. Returning director Gore Verbinski knows his way around an action scene but allows them to blur together. Here's hoping the third Pirates
, already shot and due next year, keeps it shorter and more to the sword point. (PG-13)
As a saucy soothsayer with a soft spot for Johnny Depp
's Captain Jack, Harris makes an intriguing impression—and she'll be back for more in the third Pirates
. Offscreen, "I'm terrified of fortune-tellers," says the British actress, 29, who broke out in the zombie hit 28 Days Later
(2002). "I don't want to know what's going to happen in my future in case there's something bad!" Looks good so far: She plays an undercover cop with Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell
in July 28's Miami Vice
He plays cute, smart, stand-up guys. So why doesn't James Marsden ever get the girl? In Superman Returns
, he plays Lois Lane's (Kate Bosworth
) fiancé and, as he says, "the Man of Steel is steep competition." He had serious girlfriend issues with Famke Janssen's Jean Grey in X-Men: The Last Stand
and lost Rachel McAdams
to Ryan Gosling
in '04's The Notebook
. "Don't feel bad for me," he says. "I'm in two of the biggest movies of the summer—my life could be rougher."
A Scanner Darkly
: In a futuristic drama that uses real actors transformed into animation, an undercover cop (Keanu Reeves
) is sucked deeper into his double life as a doper. Based on a Philip K. Dick novel, the film plays like a vivid, sometimes bad hallucination. (R)
: Lonely middle-aged women (including the peerless Charlotte Rampling) holiday in Haiti, where they pay to bed handsome young locals seeking to escape the island nation's poverty. This thoughtful drama makes its points, both sexual and political, delicately. (Not rated)
Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos
: An entertaining documentary looks at the brief glory days of pro soccer in the U.S., focusing on the rise and fall during the '70s disco era of the flashy New York Cosmos team. Star player Pelé is much mentioned, but nixed an interview. (PG-13)
FASHIONISTA IN PRADA
Stanley Tucci, fashion plate? He's Meryl Streep's caustic, gay right-hand man in The Devil Wears Prada
—and the actor, 45, chatted with PEOPLE from his exercise bike ("Sorry I'm panting"). Very diva.
ARE YOU ANYTHING LIKE YOUR CHARACTER NIGEL? I'm married with children. Let's start there. I like clothes. Nigel and I have that in common. I don't mind shopping. In fact I take my wife shopping. She hates shopping. I love it.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH COSTUME DESIGNER PATRICIA FIELDS? Pat opened my eyes. I would say, "I can't wear that!" and [she would say], "Just put it on." It worked.
WHAT'S YOUR OFFSCREEN WARDROBE? I wear Hugo Boss and Dries Van Noten, jeans, Levis corduroys, brown boots from Italy, a lot of ties, white shirts. Pretty simple.
NO PASTEL SHIRTS FOR YOU? No, no. Bite your tongue.
ANY FAVORITE PIECES? A black cashmere zip-up sweater that I refuse to not wear every day.
NIGEL WAS INTO THOSE SWEATERS, TOO. He did have them! I guess we're not that far apart.