Third “Pirates…” review. Prepare accordingly.
“Curse of the Black Pearl”,
“At World’s End”
“Dead Man’s Chest”.
However, I’m not an average person (or so my belt sizes keep telling me). I think “Dead Man’s Chest” is the superior of the sequels. I’ll tell you more in a minute.
The plot is a continuation of the ridiculous number of character threads from “Dead Man’s Chest”. Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) is now executing anyone and everyone remotely associated with pirates. Due to this, a defiant song is sung to summon the nine pirate Lords to order. Thing is, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is dead and failed to appoint a new Lord before the Kraken munched on his face. So, Will (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris) and the Black Pearl crew, led by Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) go on a mission to rescue Jack from Davy Jones’ Locker. Beckett also has the heart of Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and now can control Jones and the crew of the Flying Dutchman. He does so and is using Jones to wipe out pirate ships.
Unfortunately, “At World’s End” started off at a disadvantage because it had to carry on and end all the characters’ stories satisfactorily. Thing is, “Dead Man’s Chest” was so ridiculously complicated, “At World’s End” had very little chance of doing this. Also, I’m sure there was another insufferable prick studio exec shouting “bigger and better!” whenever he wasn’t snorting cocaine from a hooker’s navel. I knew the film was going to be on the faecal side of things when the damn thing opened up on a mass hanging. Nice one, Disney- good to know you’re still catering for the kiddies (!) Actually, it takes it one step further by showing a small child getting the ol’ rope neckwear. I know these things happened, but since we glossed over all the raping and pillaging that real pirates did, I figured the hanging thing would be left out. I realise that Jack Sparrow was nearly hanged in “Curse of the Black Pearl”, but the key word is “nearly”. He escaped with the help of Will and all was fine and dandy. Here, there are no miraculous escapes but a shot of the feet of lifeless bodies. I’m not against violence by any stretch of the imagination.What annoys me is there are plenty of films out there showing violence and people dying. In contrast, there are hardly any kid-friendly films out there that aren’t animated, and of the ones that aren’t- 90% of those are pure monkey bollocks. If I’m in a bloodthirsty mood, I’ll stick on “Rambo” and the like. However, it would be nice to have the family-friendly live action trilogy that seemed to be promised to us in the first one.
I came to the realisation that this film actually makes me angry. It’s clearly had all the money in the World spent on it and it still manages to be unintelligible and boring. Yes, that’s right- I said boring. Sure, there’s the feckin’ epic sea battle in a whirlpool at the end, but that’s about all that’s noteworthy. One of the film’s biggest mistakes is not re-introducing Jack sooner. He is the lifeblood of the series and when he’s not on screen we have to put up with Keira Knightley’s wobbly acting and Orlando Bloom’s consistently shite acting. When Jack finally does show up, there’s about ten Jacks all crewing the stationary Black Pearl. It’s not as entertaining as the film wants you to think it is. To be honest, it seems to me that the whole Davy Jones’ Locker bit is just an excuse to show off some (admittedly impressive) effects.
I remember when I heard that Keith Richards was going to be in one of the sequels. I thought it was a funny idea. However, seeing it isn’t as great as I thought it’d be- something which seems to be the theme of this film. Don’t even get me started on that Calypso/Davy Jones thing. Why the flying fuck did they feel the need to have Tia Dalma grow 60 feet tall and then explode into thousands of crabs? I don’t care what you, IMDB or anyone says. IT. DOESN’T. MAKE. ANY. SENSE. Plus, this film is even longer than “Dead Man’s Chest”, if you can believe that.
Since my bile ducts are starting to hurt, I’ll tell you the one thing or rather one scene that I like. It’s Beckett’s death scene when he slowly walks through his ship whilst everything blows the fuck up around him. I actually liked the character of Beckett as he was a booable (not a word, but should be) villain. The scene is not only a great send off to the character, but a triumph of special effects. Destruction has never looked so damn good. In fact, the effects are probably the only good thing in the film. I suppose if you treated it as a very long tech demo, it would work.
In summary, there are a few good things in “At World’s End” but they are sparsely sprinkled throughout the harsh runtime. Overall though, this film is dense- in every sense of the word.