Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End movie poster-Johnny Depp-Orlando Bloom

Rating: 4.5 of 5 ★★★★½ 

When I first came out of Pirates 3 wasn’t sure what I thought. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. I was thinking over different scenes and realizing how much I just enjoyed the film, enjoyed myself while I was watching it. It’s fun. It’s funny. The monkey was frickin’ hilarious.

I really liked the serious and darker tone. It feels like something 2 was building toward or trying for, but 3 takes so much of the life of 1 and turns it darker and more interesting and more dangerous. It was a great move.

I liked that they did a much better job of alluding to what worked in 1 and making it new. I would have liked to have seen more of that in 2.

Some brief and detailed thoughts – the bad before the good:
I know the multiple Jack’s were there to show the edge his sanity was teetering on, but I still found it weird and not good.

The space with Jack in the desert of Davy Jones’ Locker was a bit too long.

There were some things that could have been cleaned up or smoothed out. I can’t remember them now, but it wasn’t as seamless as it could have been. This would be the point where most people would say it’s too complicated. I didn’t find it too complicated so much as just a bit messy in handling them.
And really, it’s not that complicated. You just follow what each person wants. It’s sort of encapsulated when the sailor asks Beckett if he thinks Jack does it on purpose or just makes it up as he goes along. First of all, excellent reinvention of a fantastic moment from the first film. Secondly, Jack makes it up as he goes along and it works out for him. They’re all just making it up as they go along until they reach the opportune moment – and all that without a drop of rum.

and now things definitely, better than the second one:
The did a fantastic job of reinventing what worked in the first film, instead of trying to recreate it the way they did in the second film. The evidence of this is all over the place, from Jack splashing rum on Gibbs to them bringing back the painted ladies.

It also did a great job of returning to the fun and frivolity of the first film after Becket and Jones are defeated. Jack stealing the map to the fountain of youth was classic, and a great way to show that life keeps going on for these pirates and they keep double crossing each other and searching for treasure. That’s part of the fun.

I enjoyed the pirate song in the beginning. It was a good song.

The scene with the crabs moving the Black Pearl was just really cool.

I liked that things did pay off from the second one. If you go back and read my review of the second one you can see that I thought it’d be more enjoyable once we’d seen the third film and understood more of what was going on. Which, granted, wasn’t difficult to predict, but now that I’ve actually seen the third one I think I was right. Is that an awful thing to say?

Will and Elizabeth getting married in the midst of a sword fight was very cool.

I liked all of the mythological elements that they added with Calypso and fleshing out the lore of the Dutchman and everything. For the most part when you add mythological elements to a story it lends a depth and resonance.

At first I didn’t like that Will takes over as captain of the Dutchman, because it’s such a tragic end to his romance with Elizabeth. But then I thought about it and realized that it gives their romance a sense of grandeur which is almost more appealing than a happy ending. It became the stuff of legend. And grandeur like that always bears a certain bit of tragedy. Tolkien has a great quote about that somewhere. In the end, I think it became more beautiful and slightly haunting than what was expected. Of course, you have to stay for the scene at the end of the credits because that’s your happy ending.
Plus, how cool is young Will now? His dad is the captain of the Flying Dutchmen and his mom was (or is) the pirate king.

Writing:★★★★¾ 
Characters:★★★★½ 
Performances:★★★★☆ 
Directing:★★★★¼ 
Production:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

May 20, 2007


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