Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

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Well, at least it wasn't as bad as I'd feared...

May 28, 2007 (Updated Jun 10, 2007)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Very Good

  • Bang For The Buck

Pros:Some good bits...

Cons:... some bad bits...

The Bottom Line: If you've seen the first two Pirates of the Caribbean films, you've got to see how it ends... This film is not great, but not awful.


With Pirates of the Caribbean 2 ending on a such a cliff-hanger, a grand finale was needed in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Sadly, though there are enjoyable things about this movie, it doesn't really provide the ending that I think most fans of the series would have wanted.

Brief Plot Summary

Captain Jack Sparrow needs to be brought back from Davy Jones' locker after having had a slight disagreement with a Kraken. Fuelled with guilt due to her own part in this, Elizabeth Swann seeks out the assistance of weird voodoo woman Tia Dalma to bring him back. Aiding her somewhat unwillingly because he misunderstands her motives is Will Turner, her lover, and aiding them all is Captain Barbossa, back from the dead and a ten-second appearance at the end of the second film. Evil meanie Lord Becket is doing mean, evil things and forcing the pirates into a final confrontation.

And… lots of other stuff. It’s hard to say really how much I liked this film… the truth is, I liked lots of individual parts of it, but also disliked quite a few. There was certainly a lot going on, and a lot of plot twists, the majority of which I didn’t see coming. There was a lot of humour, some of which was genuinely funny (it includes what has to be one of the most bizarre wedding ceremonies of all time), but quite a bit of which was too juvenile to really be funny. One of the problems was, I think, that there were simply too many characters vying for screen time - with many of them ending up being quite redundant as a result. Johnny Depp (Jack Sparrow), who completely stole the show in the first film, seemed fairly pointless in this one. The true stars here are Geoffrey Rush (Barbossa) - which is no bad thing, especially as he is the only pirate in any of the three films who actually talks like a pirate! - and Keirra Knightly (Elizabeth Swann) - which is a debatably good thing. Knightly played her character well most of the time but some of the scenes just didn’t come over very well, particularly when she was leading a battle cry or some such heroic thing. Bloom’s character (Turner) seemed to be turned on his head a little here, which is partly responsible for there being so many plot twists. Additional characters such as Sao Fend (Chow Yun-Fat) seemed rather pointless. Once again Pintel and Ragetti (Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook) are by far the funniest characters in the film.

While the plot overall was actually quite good, towards the end it faltered badly. We’ve seen this sort of ending many times before - the scriptwriters back the heroes into such a small corner, so vastly outnumbered and with no clear way out, that the only way they can get the good guys (if you can even call pirates “good guys” anyway) to win is to make the cunning, inventive bad guy a complete unfunctioning moron for a while and thus kill them. I found the last battle very unsatisfactory for this reason, and the whole build-up to is was also pretty overdone. This is a shame because most of what was in the middle of the poor start and awful ending was very good. The special effects are good on the whole here, probably better than in the second film. The music was a bit variable in quality - it’s fine when it sticks fairly closely to the original Pirates of the Caribbean theme music, but when it branches off and uses modern instruments like electronic guitar with an otherwise classical music flavour, it doesn’t really work very well.

Which, really, sums up this film completely. It is very much a mix of good bits and bad bits. The cast gave a mixed performance… Rush was good and it was nice to see him get much more screen time in this film, Depp was okay but with a character that the script forced us to lose interest in, Knightly and Bloom were on the whole fine, the annoying voodoo lady became even more annoying, and Davy Jones was turned into a tool of other evil forces. Tom Hollander, who has been uniformly excellent in everything I’ve seen him in, must have wondered what on earth the point of his stupid final scene was - he was great until then.

Overall I did sort of enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean 3, but it wasn’t as good as the second film, which in turn wasn’t as good as the first. I had a bad feeling about this one so I suppose it was a bit better than I expected. Can’t say I’m thrilled with the idea of a fourth film in the series, which was clearly set up in the ending to this one.

Other Information

Director: Gore Verbinski
Runtime: 168 minutes (could have done with losing some of those minutes)
Rating: Rated PG-13 (12A - UK rating) for intense sequences of action/adventure violence and some frightening images

Links

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man‘s Chest

Pirates of the Caribbean - PC Game


Johnny Depp - Benny and Joon
Keira Knightly - Pride and Prejudice (also featuring Tom Hollander)
Orlando Bloom - Elizabethtown


Recommend this product? Yes


Movie Mood: Action Movie
Viewing Method: Other
Film Completeness: Looked complete to me.
Worst Part of this Film: Script

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