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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

The third film in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series released in 2007.

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Pirates of the Caribbean Never Got that Spark Back

  • Jul 9, 2009
Rating:
+2
As I mentioned before, Pirates of the Caribbean had two sequels, filmed at the same time.  The third film is something of the biggest in the series, yet it is also a film that will sometimes make you question just what the second film was there for, and at the same time wondering if perhaps Disney was a ltitle too self-indulgent and overreaching.  The second film was sloppy but still fun.  Despite having very little story or plot involved.  The third film has a ton of story and plot, but sort of throws out much of what the second film built up for us.  The fate of Jack?  Answered, but in such a cheesy and strange way.  It seems as though Jack's demise at the end of the first film was for nothing.  The heart of Davy Jones?  The moment that was such a big huge part of the second film?  It's there, but as it turns out, there's a couple of things that they FORGOT to tell us in the second film that they tell us here that make us wonder just why the characters were after the chest.  There was so much in the second film, and yet so much of it isn't needed for the third.

The film begins with a bunch of pirates being executed.  They start singing a song that has a lot of meaning.  Apparently this song is far more meaningful to the pirates than they think.  Barbosa, along with other pirates know what this means.  They are the pirate lords, and they need to get together for a ritual.  For Barbosa this involves bringing back Calypso.  For Shao Feng (I think that's his name) it involves keeping Jack gone.  Except Barbosa is able to persuade him, along with a bit of help from Will.  So first things first: get Jack from the locker.  Which is mostly a place where one can go insane, and certainly Jack does.

Along those lines as well, we can see that perhaps Jack's fate wasn't exactly that bad.  He's still very much alive.  They just need to figure out how to get from the locker to the real world.  This happens by figuring a riddle on the chart.  How up is down.  Which brings them back, and they see souls passing on to the afterlife.  Among them is Elizabeth's father.  The movie plays this up as an emotional moment, but it's hard to feel the same way Elizabeth does.  We never actually got to be that attached to her father in the first place.  So a scene which could've been moving for the audience isn't because in the midst of the first and second film, Elizabeth's father never becomes a character the audience could become emotionally attached to.

From here on the movie just becomes confusing.  We learn that Tia Dalma is actually Calypso trapped in human bonds.  This feels like something that comes out of the blue.  Throughout the second film, Tia only made two appreances, and none of them hinted that she could be the sea goddess Calypso.  So a character which played a small role in the second film, suddenly has one of the biggest in the third.  Even more is learning about Davy Jones's heart.  The one who stabs it must take over his job to ferry souls, and replace his heart with his own.  Again, it's something the second movie never hinted at.  And that's strange considering all the trouble they went through to get to the chest in the first place.  Now we learn that if Will does free his father, he'll be a prisoner in his own right.  The second film never really hints at this either.  But worse is that upon discovering this, it makes the second film seem kind of silly in retrospect.

The idea of the Bretheren Court at Shipwreck falls is also something nice, but again, something that feels a little hard to swallow at times.  It fits its way in nicely, but the "Pieces of Eight," that we learn about can be a little confusing.  The rituals that come about as a result are never really explained, nor do we ever come to understand how these rituals were learned.  When releasing Calypso from her human bonds, she turns into a bunch of crabs... but it is never really explained just what the importance of it was.  So we get this plot point of freeing Calypso that ultimately goes no where.  This was what we spent more than half the movie prepping for?  A plot point that ultimately goes no where? 

There's some backstory between Davy Jones and Calypso thrown in as well.  Again, something that the second movie never really hit at.  It began to at least.  We can at least make a connection, but it's just that so much more of what happens in the third film makes us wonder what half the second film was really needed for.  It got us to this point, but how much of it was actually vital to getting us here?

And once again, the characters are also a little curious.  Jack Sparrow went from being a beloved character to being a questionable one.  He never really gets back to that same Jack we always knew.  Traits of him are still consistent, but the witty banter that was tossed around in the first film is almost completely gone here.  In fact, they crew intentionally took out a lot of humor to make an overall darker film.  They succeed, and also give us a ton of story exposition... more so than we get in the second film.  The problem is that not a whole lot of it makes a lot of sense.

Davy Jones is also a curious case.  He was a brutal ruthless man in the second film, but has become a former shadow of that since Lord Beckett got his heart.  That heartless (pun intended) side of him rarely shows itself.  And Lord Beckett, who was never much of a likable or viable character in the first place, is even more loathesome here.  Here we have a villain who doesn't really do a whole lot.  What sort of threat in particular does Lord Beckett hold to the pirates all by himself?  What made Barbosa and Davy Jones so interesting as villains was that we could actually see them as potential threats.  More than that, the two spend much of their respective films actually doing something.  They engage in combat and show how brutal they can be.  Lord Beckett seems to sip on tea and sit around.  He is a smart man, but we never see him as that threatening villain like Barbosa or Jones.

Pirates of the Caribbean has often been criticized for having long drawn out battles and just overall being long movies.  The same is true of At World's End.  The film is long.  Very long.  It is nearly three hours long but it isn't as fun as the first two films.  There's a lot of story, but since it's so confusing we need to rely on some of the fun.  Except more of it is a little more bizarre than it needs to be.  At least the movie doesn't take itself as seriously as say... The Happening.  Nevertheless while the final battle can be fun, it's over an hour long.  It just goes on for too long.  By the time Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was over I was left wondering if this was what Pirates of the Caribbean devolved into.  The first film was witty, funny and clever... these traits were already fading by the second film, which seem to throw most of its wit out the window.  Watching the third movie, it seemed like the cast and crew didn't even realize what Pirates of the Caribbean was anymore.  The film is so different from what was established.  The characters are unfamiliar and the story is so convoluted the movie demands a second watch just so that you can understand.  And granted, it really is better the second time, but only because the movie throws so much you can retain some of it by the time you watch it that second time. 

There are some really cool special effects, at least.  But that can't save the screenplay, which is a little sloppy at times.  But even worse is that it makes little use of the second film.  Even going so far as to do a 180 on some of the plot points introduced.  You might want to see it just to see what happened to Jack, but seeing as how they get him back near the beginning, there's little else to care about following this.  After the first film it's a little sad to see Pirates of the Caribbean fall the way it did.

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More Pirates of the Caribbean: At W... reviews
review by . May 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The most important thing to know about the Pirates of the Caribbean movies before going to see one is they are not popcorn movies, at least not in the common sense of the word. They are great special effects festivals, that's for sure; but they also require your undivided attention to know what's going on. (Especially the last two.) So if you're looking for something fun and mindless to rob you of two hours while you stuff your face and enjoy an AC set on the "arctic blast" setting, Jessica Alba …
review by . January 04, 2011
I have decided to rewrite this review now that I have seen the first two movies, and may I say, this film isn't all bad. It's not as good as the first, but of the same quality as Dead Man's Chest. The main problems associated with this film are that it has too many characters, too many subplots, and is too damn long. It also leaves too many unanswered questions (especially regarding Will and Elizabeth) that I know won't be answered in On Stranger Tides because Keira and Orlando …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Great use of surreal visualizations in this film. Also could not forget Keith Richard's as dad to Johnny Depp.
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
i have to say im glad this is the last pirate movie with will turner and elisabeth swan in it because their characters are getting a little played out. but all in all its a great movie well worth the watch and the wait.
review by . July 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I liked the first two movies of the Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy [Blu-ray], I thought Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End (Widescreen Edition) was a weak finale. The special effects are superb and acting is decent. Johnny Depp still steals the show and has some great lines. However, the plot is extremely convoluted and comes close to being ridiculous. Some parts are just boring, like the search into Davy Jone's locker - with the ship sailing upside-down and an invasion of crabs. I've watched …
Quick Tip by . December 30, 2009
Poor follow-up that falls flat due to a weak plot that fails to tie up loose ends, too much innuendo and relies on weird, misplaced humor.
review by . April 24, 2009
The first Pirates movie was superbly well written and directed, capturing all the major elements of a theme park ride and somehow weaving them into a compelling story. The writers (Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio) balanced a range of elements that everyone wanted to see, the casting was great (except the ever-abysmal Keira Knightley) and Gore Verbinski gave the whole thing a really interesting look. Since pirate films have been death in theaters for years (Cutthroat Island took both Renny Harlin and …
review by . August 14, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), and the rest of the pirates are on a quest to bring Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) back from the land of the dead. Their journey is greatly been hampered because Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) is in possession of Davy Jones' heart and controls the seas, making himself and the East India Trading Company extremely wealthy and supreme commander of the world's waterways. With world domination in sight, Beckett wants to wipe out the last …
review by . May 28, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
There is a daring scene early on in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" that has lingered with me for the past few hours. Elizabeth Swann, William Turner, and the recently resurrected Captain Barbossa are sailing the dangerous waters of World's End. They do not know where they are going, but they happen upon the entrance to death a couple hours after being lost. Barbosa laughs with triumph, though Elizabeth doesn't quite get how they managed to find the entrance without the map. Barbossa …
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Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is a rollicking voyage in the same spirit of the two earlier Pirates films, yet far darker in spots (and nearly three hours to boot). The action, largely revolving around a pirate alliance against the ruthless East India Trading Company, doesn't disappoint, though the violence is probably too harsh for young children. Through it all, the plucky cast (Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush) are buffeted by battle, maelstroms, betrayal, treachery, a ferocious Caribbean weather goddess, and that gnarly voyage back from the world's end--but with their wit intact. As always, Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow tosses off great lines ; he chastises "a woman scorned, like which hell hath no fury than!" He insults an opponent with a string of epithets, ending in "yeasty codpiece."!

In the previous The Curse of the Black Pearl, Sparrow was killed--sent to Davy Jones' Locker. In the opening scenes, the viewer sees that death has not been kind to Sparrow--but that's not to say he hasn't found endless ways to amuse himself, cavorting with dozens of hallucinated versions of himself on the deck of the Black Pearl. But Sparrow is needed in this world, so a daring rescue brings him back. Keith Richards' much ballyhooed appearance as Jack's dad is little more than a cameo, though he does play a wistful guitar. But the action, as always, is more than satisfying, held together by Depp, who, ...

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Details

Director: Gore Verbinski
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: May 24, 2007
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott
DVD Release Date: December 4, 2007
Runtime: 167 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
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