Film Reviews

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END

By • May 25th, 2007 •

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Buena Vista / A Walt Disney Pictures presentation in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Films
Running time — 167 minutes / MPAA rating: PG-13

PC1’s Jack Sparrow has left the franchise. A stiff pod has replaced him. No story I could follow, but that was my fault. I don’t understand Aramaic.

Yes, the silliness of PC2 is gone, but so is Jack Sparrow. I’ll miss him. So will you.

Here’s what I could dope out about PC3 – only by going online to the official site for help. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is stuck in Davy Jones’ Locker and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) set out to find him. I do not know why.

Jack Sparrow (even his bad teeth are gone!) is enjoying an idyllic fantasy life populated by servile multiple Jacks. He has a ship but no crew.

Captain Jack is one of the Nine Lords of the Brethren Court. Since when? I thought he was a rogue pirate among pirates. Also looking for the entire crew is Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) and Admiral Norrington (Jack Davenport). I could not tell these two apart. One of them is in cohorts with Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) – I think. But why?

Davy Jones’ heart is in a locked box. Everybody wants it. I do not know why.

To get to Jack Sparrow, they will need a ship and navigation maps. Turner, Swann and Barbossa go to Singapore for a meeting with Chinese pirate Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat). I’m not sure what happens. Feng spoke Mandarin.

Remember Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris), the gypsy sorceress? Incoherent in PC2, I sort of understood some of her dialogue in PC3. She learned Old English while aboard the ship. She has a past with Davy Jones. Because she resurrected Barbossa, he took her along.

Everybody keeps talking about Calypso.

The best acting in PC3 was by Jack, the Capuchin monkey, and Keith Richards as Captain Teague. Why didn’t they give Richards more to do? They gave two pirates more scenes.

Gone is the silliness of PC2. The look is far more mature and most of the action takes place in chaos showing off the skill of director Gore Verbinski. The special effects were fantastic, especially a new special effect at the end. They gave the best effects to the ship battles and Commodore James Norrington. His exit from an explosion is akin to THE MATRIX slow bullet scene. Every dollar is up on the screen. I do not know if PC1 and PC2’s screenwriters, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio, were contractually tied to PC3, but their ambitious-but-confusing screenplay punishes everyone, except Nighy, who got a scene sans fish prosthetics.

Why didn’t Buena Vista give PC3 to fresh minds? If Depp really wants to do PC4, 5 and 6, he had better use his Hollywood power to court someone like PAN’S LABYRINTH’s Guillermo Del Toro to get onboard.


Credits:
Director: Gore Verbinski
Writers: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio
Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer
Director of photography: Dariusz Wolski
Production designer: Rick Heinrichs
Music: Hans Zimmer
Costume designer: Penny Rose
Editors: Craig Wood, Stephen Rivkin
Visual effects supervisors: John Knoll, Charles Gibson

Cast:
Jack Sparrow: Johnny Depp
Will Turner: Orlando Bloom
Elizabeth Swann: Keira Knightley
Captain Barbossa, Bootstrap Bill: Stellan Skarsgard
Davy Jones: Bill Nighy
Captain Sao Feng: Chow Yun-Fat
Commodore James Norrington: Jack Davenport
Governor Weatherby Swann: Jonathan Pryce
Tia Dalma: Naomie Harris
Lord Cutler Beckett: Tom Hollander
Captain Teague: Keith Richards

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