Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Plot: Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Kiera Knightly) and the very much alive Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) sail to uncharted territory in an attempt to rescue Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) while the Flying Dutchman continues to destroy anything the East India Trading Company wants.
Who’s it for: Pirate fans, but then again everyone saw the first two, so I won’t try and stop you from seeing this one.

Expectations: “Dead Man’s Chest” was a pretty big letdown for me. And once I saw the running of 2 hours and 50 minutes, I was prepared to remain disappointed.

SCORECARD

Actors:
Johnny Depp as Captain Jack:
He turned up the crazy and makes a fantastic entrance to the film after about 30 minutes. Captain Jack is beyond his zany self and is once again the whole reason why this franchise is such a success.
Grade: 8

Orlando Bloom as Will Turner: There is an added depth with Will and his double-crossing, it’s just unfortunate that Will and Elizabeth spent most of the second and third films without one another. There just isn’t a strong connection, which meant the love story never caught full sail.
Grade: 6

Kiera Knightly as Elizabeth Swann: She tries her best with a “Braveheart” speech, but she just can’t deliver. And yes, I understand she’s insanely attractive, I’m sorry that’s not enough for me.
Grade: 5

Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa: We don’t get much background on Barbossa and I didn’t understand how exactly he was back from the dead, but I’m glad he did. Rush is a fantastic pirate, and his back and forth with Depp is always amusing.
Grade: 8

Rest of Cast: There are too many to list. “Bootstrap Bill” once again is boring, even in his Darth Vader attempt at an ending. It appears “Pirates” decided the little monkey is just as important as the other cast members, I don’t think 20 minutes went by without a shot at the monkey attempting humor. And the cameo of Keith Richards as Captain Jack’s dad was nice to see, but painful to listen to.
Grade: 5

Talking: Gibbs (Kevin McNally) leads the chAAAARRRRRge in pirate lingo, chewing through every scene with a little too much gusto. Beyond that there were a slew of characters who need subtitles to go along with their long-winded monologues.
Grade: 5

Sights and sounds: It’s an epic in terms of what you see. “At World’s End” is one of the most visually stunning films I have seen. The set designs are insanely elaborate and the special effects are breathtaking, it’s just too bad there wasn’t a great story to go along with it.
Grade: 10

PLOT SPOILERS

Best Scene: When the Black Pearl does battle with the Flying Dutchman in the finale, it is dazzling to watch, but when Will and Elizabeth start exchanging one-liners it runs stale.

Ending: I don’t want to give away the plot twist, but it’s nice to see surprising things happen at the end, even if I wasn’t emotionally attached.

Random Thoughts: I dare anyone to attempt to quickly and succinctly explain this film to a friend after seeing it. I still don’t know half the character’s motivations or end goals. And what’s with the insanely morbid beginning, which includes a child getting hung? I would also love to know if the Flying Dutchman can be sunk and if their crew can be hurt. And why introduce pirates from around the world if you only give them two lines of dialogue each?

Rewatchability: Because the film just barely sneaks under the three-hour mark, once is enough. “The Departed” deserves that running time, but “At World’s End” could have found a better way.

OVERALL
I had to keep rewriting the plot section above. Eventually I decided to use the advice of “keep it simple, stupid.” Advice I wish “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” could have taken. Both sequels to the original film are confusing and long. But the third does improve on the second, because at least something happens. Captain Jack Sparrow continues to be the reason to see these films, the character is so much fun to watch. I thought “fun” was the purpose of these films, since the love story between Will and Elizabeth was tossed aside for most of this trilogy. I just wanted a light-hearted, exciting time. “At World’s End” wanted to be more, I just don’t know more of what.
Overall Grade: 6

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