Friday, May 25, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

“There was a time when a pirate was free to make his own way in the world, but our time is coming to an end. Our enemies are united; they vow to destroy us. The Pirate Lords from the four corners of the Earth must stand together.”

The film begins, after a bizarre introduction about singing coins and eight pieces of nine (don’t ask) which is never satisfactorily explained, with Will (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) in Singapore. Their visit has two purposes. The first is to gain the maps and ship necessary to travel to Davy Jone’s Locker and rescue Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). The second involves a poorly thought out, and even worse explained, plotline about a meeting of pirate lords, mysterious artifacts, and a goddess which Barbossa wants to use to fight back against Norrington’s (Jack Davenport) control of the seas.

After making a deal with Captain Sao Fang (Chow Yun-Fat) the group sails to rescue Jack (who doesn’t make his first appearance until more than 20 minutes into the film) who is lost in a bizarre land where he is haunted by mirror images of himself and stones which turn into crabs.

After the group is reunited all hell breaks loose as every character in the film double-crosses everyone else for their own agendas for the remaining two hours of the film.

First, let me say that the look of the film is amazing, particularly the scenes involving the travel to World’s End. And once again the series provides some memorable action scenes. And the film moves quite well with many entertaining moments, aside from the slow opening that’s so plot heavy you will wonder if you missed a film that came between Dead Man’s Chest and this one.

The other main positive point for the film is after the alternative universe of the last film which had everyone acting out of character to move plot points along, each of the main characters, especially Jack, starts acting normal (well, as normal as Jack Sparrow can act). And the character of Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) is finally fleshed-out a little, a film too late but better than never.

The film is far from perfect however as large amounts of characters and plot all collide. I’ll give the film credit for at least trying to tell a story this time, but there’s just too much going on for one film, and none of - particularly the storyline involving Naomie Harris‘s character, was thought out or executed as well as it should have been.

The film is the trainwreck I expected it to be, but it does surprise with some genuine fun moments, more than a little headscratching, and overall entertaining time. I won’t go quite far enough to recommend the film, but I certainly won’t tell you to stay away. And if you do jump aboard make sure you stay through the credits for an extra bonus scene worth seeing.

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