Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
Reviewed on 2008 January 7
As I write this and reread my reviews of the first two POTC movies, I realize I’m being even more vague than usual. I’m trying to give you a critique and a bare-bones idea of the story line, and it’s particularly hard in this set of movies because so many things in all three movies are interconnected. If I’m not careful a tidbit in this review could give away something in the first two movies for someone who hasn’t seen them yet, and vice versa. I can’t stand having surprises spoiled for me, but I like to know what the movie is basically about. So here goes.
I was surprised at how dark the beginning of At World’s End was (for a Disney movie) and wondered what kind of ride we were in for with this installment. The answer: a fast, crazy one. After the grim (and yet darkly funny) beginning, we’re in Singapore with Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and some of the usual suspects of the first two Pirates movies, trying to get a boat and crew together to go find Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp; we knew he had to be in it). They enlist the help of Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris), a sorceress who can help them navigate the uncharted waters and bring Sparrow back. They need him (and all the other pirate lords) to band together to fight Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) and his fleet.
Sounds easy, right? A bunch of battle-toughened pirates fighting dirty to take down a navy. The problem is the double-crossing involved (“Pirate!”) and the fact that Sparrow has his own agenda. So does Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), but his is much more noble.
This is arguably the weakest entry in the POTC trilogy, with all the loose ends tied together, sometimes brilliantly and sometimes almost disjointedly. With as much stuff as they had going on I was still impressed they didn’t leave anything dropped, but parts of it were almost something out of a fairy tale. Great as the character is, I only wanted to see one Captain Jack per movie. (Initially it was cool, and I got what they were going for, but they kind of beat it into the ground.) And I’m sure it’s not Keira’s fault but I felt like Elizabeth was almost turning into a Mary Sue. But the acting was as good as ever, and even though it was an overstuffed suitcase of a movie it was a lot of fun.
Three chocolate morsels. I almost fell out of my chair when Mr. Shukti pointed out that this puppy had an almost three hour running time. It sure didn’t feel like it.