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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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Lost, Hopelessly Lost

  • May 28, 2007
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 proudly explains "Of course not, sometimes you have to get lost to find something. Otherwise everyone would be able to find it." I find this quote very daring in the sense that it should not be used in this movie, as it drew much scorn and a frustrated grunt from me, as it had been a long time since I'd seen a movie this confusing, this jumbled, and this convoluted in a long, LONG time!

Truth be told, I think I had an easier time following the storylines in "Syriana" and "Ocean's Twelve." But I'm getting ahead of myself, so keep that quote in the back of your mind while you continue to read, we'll be getting back to it later on. So as you all know, the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" has been one of the most anticipated movies to come out this year. Last years "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" disappointed people in two areas: The first area being that it ended on a cliffhanger that left everything unresolved, the second area in the sense that what we did get wasn't really that good. But hey, ce la vi right? We all knew that these two films would really be one film split into two, so everything was cool. All we had to do was wait for "Pirates of the Caribbean: World's End" to come out, wrap up all those loose ends, and give us one hell of a ride.

Well, we get lose ends wrapped up all right, but the hell of a ride we get certainly wasn't the kind I was expecting. The story for "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" is...scattered. Barbossa gets to show us his extraordinary navigating skills, Elizabeth and Will get into "we're not quite speaking with each other" phase based on the kiss from the previous film, and Jack Sparrow is in la la land dealing with a split personality disorder he's seemed to develop over the past couple of days. Oh, and there's the fact that Will's dad seems to be going through a amnestic stage where he forgets who he is and who will is, and Chow Yun-Fat makes his introduction in this movie as Captain Sao Fang, a pirate who starts off a domino effect of backstabbing that results in other characters back stabbing one another.

In fact, there's a scene where no less then five characters backstab someone only to have that person backstab them back, and then have a third party member backstab that person as a result. After the second backstabbing which resulted in a third or forth betrayal for this franchise, I decided that life was too short to have to keep track of pirate politics (though lo and behold, I get a rigged pirate election later on in the movie. Yippee). But the story, I keep forgetting to describe the story. Though, thinking about it in retrospect, I don't know if I could honesty figure out what the story was. I understood that the movie was opening with friends and enemies trying to resurrect Jack (therefore proving once and for all that this series could go on forever if the studios want it to). Barbossa was revived through a spell, but the witch doctor informs us that Jack was swallowed "body and soul," so a more personal resurrection needs to take place.

So why do some of Jack's enemies decide to help with the rescue mission. Because Jack is some sort of "Ninth Captain" who holds an item of some sort that is needed by the eight other captains, ro cast a powerful spell, or something like that. Look, all I know is that several minor characters kept saying "what" during this whole explanation, so if the movie cast can't figure out what's going on, then neither can I. Oh, and Davy Jones, the squid villain from the previous film is back, just as equally confused. Englishmen board his ship with his heart in a chest. Davy wants the heart off the ship, but during the climatic battle near the end of the film, Davy fights Jack relentlessly to keep Jack from getting it. I'm sure there's a reason for this, but everything leading up to the climax is so murky and confusing, that I found I didn't quite care to know the reason.

Let's get back to the quote shall we? The irony of the quote is that it comes early on in the movie, before I could even begin to tell you what was going on and why. Near the end of the movie I didn't see the story much clearer. One person told me that this movie will most likely make sense after multiple viewings, but I confess that I don't have the patience to see this again. For the first two hours this film throws in death, resurrection, mutiny, betrayal, gaining power, losing power, politics, magic, a (unwilling) sacrifice, crabs, the way over-hyped Keith Richards cameo, and a Keira Knightly who fights in battle and doesn't even smudge her make-up or fashion sense. This is just too much. It doesn't make sense. Truth be told, there were moments in the movie where I wondered if the actors were just making things up as they went along, giving the impression that this was a much more expensive "Who's Line Is It Anyways?"

The irony of the quote comes in that in retrospect, it seems like the producers knew what they were making, and was giving the audience a fair warning. I will admit that the final battle that takes place during the third hour of the movie is excellent on so many levels. The sword fight between Jack and Davy Jones in particular will be studied in film classes for years to come as a great example of pacing, tension, and excitement. Like the rest of the movie this battle is bloated to epic proportions, but at least it's entertaining. It still doesn't make sense, but it's at least it's entertaining. But I don't like watching movies that seem to wander aimlessly, searching for meaning where there should be none. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" worked mainly because, above all else, it was a fun little movie. It had some of the same problems this movie has, but it was played for fun most of the time.

This time the producers took themselves too seriously. They try to make an epic movie and fail so...well, epically. In that sense, maybe they did succeed in making an epic movie. It's not the epic movie I wanted, and it's certainly not going to be the kind of epic movie many other people want either. This movie has sucked almost all the fun and excitement out of the franchise for some mystical mumbo jumbo storyline that doesn't even make sense half of the time. The movie is a dead zone of special effects and powerful acting that amounts to nothing when everything is said and done. Call me crazy, call me a grump, call me whatever you want to, just don't call me for a "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Never-Ending Quest For Another $1 Billion In Ticket Sales." The final irony is that the first movie made pirates cool for me and this final movie made them obsolete once more. Darn, won't the ironies ever end with this movie?

Note: In this movie, the monkey Jack gets shot out of a canon. I don't know WHY he gets shot out of a canon, he just does at one point! Do with that information as you please.

Rating: * and a half stars

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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 . July 09, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . November 24, 2008
We own the whole collection of Pirates movies. In my opinion the first is the best. This was probaly my least favorite of the series. However it's still a good movie. I highly recommend Blu-Ray instead of DVD. The picture is fantastic, you won't regret it. I noticed someone else said the movie had issues playing on a PS3, that is what we use to pay our movies and we have had no problems.
review by . January 18, 2008
The first POTC harkened back to the mid 20th century, during an era where studios pinned their hopes on grand adventure movies with romance, action and comedy spliced in as needed. The second POTC was pure comedy, hilarious, nonsensical and ridiculous as only Disney can be and still be funny. This third and final installment of POTC is deadly serious. With less comedy and less romance than the previous two, At World's End is really a drama with episodes of comedy, adventure and suspense added in. …
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Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Ranked #126
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … 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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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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