Monday, 28 September 2020
Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Monday, 04 June 2007 00:00
This is the third week in a row that I am reviewing the third part of three separate trilogies. The mind boggles at the thought. This truly is shaping up to be the summer of threes, which makes me want to go buy a lotto ticket! Unfortunately the luck hasn’t all been good when it comes to the tirade of trilogies. Spiderman set the bar for disappointment then Shrek came along and eased the pain a little. But does Pirates 3 fight on the side of good or evil? Oddly enough, it can’t seem to decide what it’s fighting for.

The first Pirates of the Caribbean film took people by surprise with its fantastic visuals, witty script and one of the most memorable film characters in years Captain Jack Sparrow, played to perfection by Johnny Depp. The second film came along and, at least in my opinion, it was even better than the first. Now we are thrown into a third installment that relies heavily on its audience’s familiarity with the series. Audiences be warned: This film does not stand on its own peg leg.

Immediately we’re dumped into a confusing situation in which Lord Beckett (Tom Hollander) has commandeered the ship of the be-tentacled Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) in order to put a complete end to piracy. In order to stop him Will (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) have to travel to the afterlife to bring back Jack Sparrow who was eaten by the Kraken in film 2. Only then can they call to arms all of the pirate captains to join forces against a common foe. Talk about honor among thieves!

All the familiar faces aarrrgh back including Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), the first films villain, who is now in cahoots with our heroes. At least he helps when the purpose suits him, which can be said of every morally ambiguous person in this movie. But in the cutthroat world of pirates what more can we expect?

There’s a lot going on here story-wise, but it feels rushed despite the nearly three hour running time. Once again a movie has committed the fatal error of too many characters too little development. I’m not sure if it was a problem with editing or with an unrefined script but I found the story confusing and convoluted. When you finally do understand what is going on, another twist comes and creates even more plot holes.
On the plus side, the visuals are spectacular and the action sequences leave nothing to be desired. One such scene involves a stunning battle between three ships complete with a maelstrom, a marriage and beautifully choreographed sword fighting.

Over all this At World’s End lacks much of the zaniness that made the last two films such a success. There was a kind of joyful abandon in giving yourself up to the quirky characters. It made you care about them. This one fights hard for our emotions but ends up accomplishing the opposite with a disappointing ending that left me cold.

Pirates of the Caribbean 3 had some great moments, but in the grand scheme I wish they could do it over again. I give it 6 out of 10 stars.