Thursday, May 31, 2007

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s EndPirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End seems to have gone the way of most sequels: big on special effects, thin on plot, and way, way too long.

All of the characters from the original Pirates movies are back in this third installment. Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) rescue Captain Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from the land of the dead and join forces to sail of the edge of the map of the known world for one last battle with Davey Jones (Bill Nighy) and Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander). This essential objective involves a whole lot of other goings on that require lots of sword play, magic, and quick-witted thinking.

Geoffrey Rush is the standout in this bevy of actors with Johnny Depp joining him to rescue the movie. Keira Knightley has a bit more to do this time around. The scene stealer, though, is that delightful monkey that sits on Captain Barbossa’s shoulders.

The special effects are stunning, particularly the scenes involving the maelstrom - a giant whirlpool around the edge of which a fast-moving battle takes place on board a number of pirate ships. At 163 minutes, At World’s End is far too long - and feels it! Chop at least an hour out of the movie and it might have been able to sustain its intensity, but by the time the credits rolled, I felt like they were long overdue and the world’s end possibly had time to actually arrive.

For those of us who have seen the first two movies, we won’t be able to resist going along and seeing this one. Just make sure to visit the restroom at the last minute, take a picnic lunch, and maybe a pillow for the occasional doze. The occasional nod-off won’t make much difference to whether you can understand the convoluted plot or not.

My Rating: *** (out of 5)

Positive Review

’The most visually spectacular, action-packed and surreal of the adventures of Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp).’ - Michael Wilmington/Chicago Tribute

Negative Review
’Has no narrative throughline, no emotional spine. It’s a mess.’ - Mick LaSalle/San Francisco Chronicle

Content Advice
Intense sequences of action/adventure violence and some frightening images

USA: PG-13

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