Pirates of the Caribbean

At World’s End

I intend to press on now until I finish reviewing the whole series.  This one and one more until I am caught up.  Of course, getting to watch this set of movies again is never a bad thing.  At World’s End is not the best of the series but it is a nice conclusion to the first set of three movies.

Plot Synopsis (There Be Spoilers):

This movie opens with the search for Jack Sparrow.  At the end of the last movie Barbossa has been brought back from the dead and now he is leading the expedition to find Jack.  The search takes them to China.  They encounter Captain Sao Feng and his gang and then obtain the map that will help them find World’s End – where they hope to find Jack.  They do eventually rescue Jack from World’s End and they are resolved to stop Cutler Beckett.  This involves a meeting of the pirate captains – after Elizabeth has become one – and a final climactic battle.  At the end of the battle, Will is now the master of the Flying Dutchman, Elizabeth has retired from her adventuring ways and Jack… well Jack is headed toward Florida and the fountain of youth.

The Good

Johnny Depp – Captain Jack Sparrow – As always, Johnny Depp is the mainstay in this flick… series of flicks  I think though that his multiple appearances in one scene, as the various portions of his personality, is the highlight of this one for me.  Johnny Depp doing crazy is always a plus and in the multiple personality scenes he is perfect.  The different individual aspects of his personality being portrayed by themselves is a testament to the ability that Depp has to throw himself into a film.

Geoffrey Rush – Captain Hector Barbossa – The penultimate stereotype of a pirate.  He is the walking embodiment of what we all see and hear in our heads when we think the word pirate.  He is the modern day version of Robert Newton (Long John Silver from Treasure Island – 1950) and to this we owe him a dept that we cannot pay.  Barbossa performing the wedding ceremony at the end of the movie during the whirlpool battle is one of my favorite scenes in this movie.

Keira Knightley – Elizabeth Swan / Turner – Elizabeth comes into her own in this movie like never before.  I am partial to Keira Knightley anyway but she is awesome in this movie.  From the action sequences to the emotion when she believes Will is dead, she is the truly diverse thespian in this movie.

Tom Hollander – Cutler Beckett – Look back at the Dead Man’s Chest review and you will see that the admiration for Tom Hollander started in that movie.  He has a much bigger part in this movie but it is his last couple of appearances in this movie that set him apart.  His facial expression when he realizes that he has lost, that he is defeated that sticks in my head.  Then they way he descends the staircase with his ship exploding… perfection.

The Final Battle – From the exit of Calypso to the end of Cutler Beckett is the segment that I am talking about.  There is a lot going on in this scene but they hold it together.  You never get lost as to who is doing what and why.  The calm after the whirlpool to the re-emergence of the Flying Dutchman a brief respite.  The actual final conflict, when the Dutchman and the Pearl take on Beckett’s Man of War is potentially the best naval battle ever created on film (if you have another suggestion let me know).

Keith Richards – Captain Teague – I could not leave The Good without a mention of my favorite cameo in a movie ever.  Keith Richards playing Captain Teague, Jack Sparrow’s father, is wonderful.  Johnny Depp always said that he was doing an imitation of Keith Richards a sa pirate when he was doing Jack Sparrow so it only makes sense for him to show up in this role.  The fact that he holds a little sway over all the rest of the pirates is a little telling as well.

The Bad

The Timeframe – I don’t know why the timeframe bugs me but it does.  Every movie requires a suspension of disbelief but the time to get from China to the Caribbean is not a short amount of time but you are lead to believe that it happens very quickly.  Of course we also went to World’s End in this flick and flipped the boats upside down on the horizon sooooo…

The Ugly

The Calypso / Tia Dalma & Davy Jones Love Story and Giant Calypso Angle – I don’t like the Calypso angle.  I think it could have been removed and you could have still had a great movie.  In fact, you almost could have not had Tia Dalma make an appearance in this movie and there would not have been a problem.  My opinion, make it yours.

I was expecting to write, at the end of this review that this movie wa snot as good as the other two in the series but I think that, after working my way through the review that it is just as good a movie as the first two.  Equally as well paced, equally as well acted and directed.  Don’t believe the hype of or the want of other reviewers to say this is a bad movie or somehow the lesser of the first three.  Let it stand and look at the first three movies all as one 6 hour plus movie.  I think you might find that this one is the completion and just as wonderful to watch.