Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Review (8.5/10)
(By Brendan)

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is the third and perhaps final (but if you believe the rumours, perhaps not) chapter in the story of Will Turner, Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann and a whole bunch of other stinky pirates with bad teeth. In chapter three, Will and Elizabeth have teamed up with Captain Barbossa to travel to the end of the world to find the previously deceased Captain Jack Sparrow. If you remember from part two, Jack had an unfortunate encounter with a sea monster called the Kraken and as a result, he is now trapped in Davy Jones' Locker with a whole army of Jack Sparrows. In the meantime, Lord Beckett of the East Indian Company and Admiral Norrington have taken over control of the seas and with the help of Davy Jones and The Flying Dutchman, they are essentially killing off any and all pirates who get in their way. So Will, Elizabeth and Barbossa have decided to assemble the Nine Lords of the Brethren Court (sort of like the United Nations of the pirate world) in hopes of stopping Beckett, Norrington and Davy Jones and getting the pirates of the world a better dental plan. Unfortunately, the presence of Captain Jack is required at the assembly so they head off to rescue him and hopefully stop the genocide that is taking place. That, in a nutshell, is the basic premise of POTC 3. Of course, when it comes to pirates, everyone has their own agenda and pretty much no one can be trusted - so it leads to quite the story of deception, treason, trickery, treachery, bamboozlement and betrayal that you can ever imagine.

My first thoughts after seeing At World's End were: 1) That was one helluva long movie (it runs close to three hours); and 2) That was one helluva confusing movie. There is a lot going on and because there is so much going on it is sometimes hard to figure out who's on first, who's on second and who's got the worst teeth. I've said it many times before and I'll say it again, I might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but I know I am probably almost as smart as your average 9-year old and I just don't see how half of them are going to figure out this movie. Maybe it doesn't matter? Perhaps as long as they hear Jack Sparrow talk and give a few "hey-hi-ho and a bottle of rum"s they'll be more than satisfied? I'm really not too sure. But I will say this - POTC 3 is going to require at least a second viewing, just to figure out what the heck just happened. I remember feeling the same way after seeing POTC 2 and a second viewing made me realize the brilliance of that movie. I can certainly see that happening with World's End.

Now that I've got the confusing complaint out of the way, I will point out a few other goodies and baddies. First of all the good - the cast is outstanding, as you can expect. Sparrow, Barbossa, Davy Jones, all are simply magnificant. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightey aren't too shabby themselves. The entire supporting cast is perfect, many of them returnees from the previous two films. The addition of Chow Yun-Fat as Captain Sao Feng is impeccable. As is the brief cameo by Keith Richards as Jack Sparrow's father, Captain Teague. But I would also classify that under the bad - bad in that Richards was criminally underused in this movie. The scenes between him and Sparrow were teetering on pure magic but were way too few and way too far between. You could just sense there was something there between them but the relationship was never explored like you want it to be explored.

Some other brief thoughts - this movie is way more dark and violent than the other two movies. There is more death, more violence and lots of unpleasantness, which again, for the kiddies may not be ideal. The little musical number in the opening scene of the movie cannot be described in any other way than to say it is haunting. The sets, special effects, costumes and all that sort of stuff are outstanding, as they were in all three movies. The pirate ship battles in the movie are perfect. I wasn't crazy about the whole sort of "out of body" experiences of Captain Jack. I found them to be a bit odd.

In the end, At World's End is not a perfect movie. It has flashes of greatness and some not-so-greatness. To me, the biggest flaw is that it's hard to follow everything that is going on but I really feel a second viewing will clear up a lot of the confusion. Really, it's probably not fair for me to review this movie because in my eyes, you can do no wrong with a movie that stars Captain Jack Sparrow. Throw in Elizabeth Swann and I'm like hot butter on warm toast - soft and easy. I have to say too, there are a couple of scenes with Davy Jones that are very, very good too. I'm sure most fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean triology are going to love this movie. Just make sure you stay to the very end of the movie, past the credits. It may be painful sitting through ten minutes of credits but the payoff is interesting, to say the least. Savvy?

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