Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

  • 2007-05-30
  • Tim Ochser
There's something about the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies which seriously gets on my nerves.

The first installment was the most enjoyable simply because it was shamelessly entertaining and happened to be about pirates, which is one of the least plundered subjects in the Hollywood fantasy-factory. The second installment, however, was torturous viewing. It was horrendously overlong, over-the-top and overwrought.

"Pirates of the Caribbean at World's End" picks up where the second left off with all the main characters traveling to World's End to rescue the "loveable" Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from the limbo of Davy Jones' Locker. Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) leads the crew with his irritatingly ridiculous yo-ho-ho-and-a-bottle-of-rum accent. Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) is even more annoying than in the previous two movies.

In one memorable scene Bloom dramatically twitches his eyes to convey inner turmoil. I've seen the same eye-twitching trick in some of his other films and it resembles a nervous tick more than anything. Elizabeth Swan (Kiera Knightley) swans around a lot in keeping with her name, although she is made a pirate captain in this film and gives an embarrassingly stupid speech to her crew when they find themselves massively outnumbered by an armada of the evil English.

The story of "The Pirates of the Caribbean at World's End" is strangely convoluted considering that it's aimed at kids and I must admit I had trouble keeping up with all the various curses that had to be broken and debts that had to be honored and scores that had to be settled. Furthermore, the endless set pieces are clumsily handled by director Gore Verbinski.

The film as a whole is a whirl of confused action and the spectacular special effects alone can't compensate for the crude directing and awful storytelling. As with the previous two movies, Johnny Depp's amusing turn as Jack Sparrow is the only redeeming thing about this bloated mess of a blockbuster. Sparrow's quirky mannerisms were reportedly inspired by the cadaverous-looking Keith Richards who puts in a cameo as Sparrow's father.

There is a slightly unexpected twist at the end and a couple of darkly humorous moments that briefly caught my attention but otherwise I felt enormous relief that the trilogy was over. Piracy clearly comes in many forms these days, and I felt well and truly robbed after sitting through this three-hour assault on my brain.

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