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Notes from the back row

Fifteen men on a dead man's chest

Ahoy, e'en if you’re unfamiliar with Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island , or you’e ne'er been t' Disneyland, the words "Yo ho ho" can only mean one thin' – Thar be pirates about!

That’s right, Pirates of the Caribbean 2:Dead Man’s Chest opens this Friday so you’d best be findin' your eyepatch, polishin' up your hook, and preparin' for an onslaught o' "Aaarrrrggghh" jokes as millions o' people rush out t' see exactly what kind o' trouble Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp, rulin' it again) has gotten int' this time.

As you’d expect, he’s caught in another tangled web o' supernatural skullduggery. Owin' a blood debt t' Davy Jones (the famous bad-ass pirate, not the original member o' the Monkees.) Jones rules the se'en seas and he’s after Sparrow’s soul for eternal sla'ery on his ghostly ship, The Flyin' Dutchman.

Crafty Jack has a plan though, t' use his magic compass t' locate Da'y Jones’s locker, which contains his heart and thus the ability t' control him and his magical beasts o' the depths.

Meanwhile British Lord Cutter Beckett, a pirate hunter from the East Indian tradin' company, interrupts the nuptials o' Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightly) and blackmails them int' helpin' him catch Jack Sparrow. Cutter wants the magic compass for himself t' cut a deal with Da'y Jones in return for sa'e passage for his fleet. Businessmen and bureaucracy be ye true pirates o' this flick and trade negotiations drive ye plot. It matters not though, because the plot and the characters mightily end up in the back o' the boat, mannin' the oars while elaborate chase sequences, superbly orchestrated fight scenes and a hull-full o' CGI effects take the wheel o' the ship.

Not t' say the movie isn’t a rollickin' good time, it is, probably the most enjoyable film so far this summer. Depp’s portrayal o' the trickster is spot on. His sea legs be sturdy as he dances the line o' sanity with a mischie'ous glint in his eye-shadowed eyes. Knightly updates the damsel in distress role for the new millennium, addin' more ass-kickin' and spousal infidelity (‘at a girl.)

If ye be lookin' for Christ imagery, or hea'y handed lessons, beware, gar! Pirates 2 is purely about fun, reminiscent o' the old high seas ad'enture flicks o' Douglas Fairbanks or Burt Lancaster.

Sure the pacin' is a wee bit off and the mo'ie is more o' a set up (this is the second picture in what will become a trilogy when Pirates 3 comes out next summer yonder) than a fully realized story. Besides a bit too much arm flappin', runnin' away, and rollin' down hills thar’s also plenty o' scalawags, treasure, barnacle-encrusted baddies, cannonballs and, o' course, rum, t' make this two-and-a-half hour mo'ie well worth the price o' admission. And while I was hopin' a mo'ie with this much booty would get an "Aaarrrggg" ratin', the Kraken, a giant squid straight out o' 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or the savage natives o' what verily looks like Skull Island make up for the distinct lack o' pillagin'.

And if you’re mightily keen t' get your sea legs, Village 8 is showin' a sneak pre'iew at 12:01 a.m. Friday mornin' (that’s late Thursday eve geniuses.) So throw an ‘Angry Pirate’ t' distract your girlfriend and I’ll see you at the front o' the line. Aaarrrrggghh.

AT VILLAGE 8 July 7-13: Pirates Of the Caribbean 2; Superman Returns; Click; Devil Wears The Prada; Cars.