I loved every minute of it. So did she. So did my family. However, you may well note that I was just about the only damned critic out there who did. Bunch of stuffed shirt pedestal-shaking wannabes is all ya's are anyways. Who needs ya? Who needs critics anyway? Seriously, folks... all you need is me, right? I rule... they suck ear, toe, ass and ankle. Let me pretend to be smart by quoting Benjamin Disraeli: "Critics are those who have failed in Literature and Art!"
And that includes me!
Flash forward a bit to this here year when the third installment of the Oceanic Epic splashed in a maelstrom onto screens everywhere. With me, as always, was Michelle. With Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End, as expected, was a plethora of bad reviews. I still say yas can all sink to yer dusky depths, mateys... however... this time, I'm going to have to agree with some ofs yas! Pirates 3 doesn't suck... it's not a "bad" movie... in fact, it's downright entertaining to a degree most summer flicks only dream of. However... it's not as good as the first two. Nor is it as smart, nor is it as coherent, nor is it as... well... cool.
Surprisingly, this increasingly supernatural, increasingly outlandish trilogy, each entry of which was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, has ended its run with... an undeniably Jerry Bruckheimer Production.
But enough about Harsh Reality. Let's get to the even Harsher fantasy here. The horrific aspects of Pirates have been amplified here to an unsettling degree. The film begins with a mass execution of singing prisoners (one of whom would be too young to see this movie unaccompanied) and continues into the wicked underbelly of the far East (well... at least as "far" as Singapore). You see, when we last left our Pirate Brethren, their ranks had grown by two. Socialite would-be heiress Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and her would-be beau Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) responded to the treachery and backstabbing by becoming treacherous backstabbers with the worst of them. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) had become so much Purina leviathan chow to The Kraken while Davy Jones (Bill "I Rule" Nighy) smirked on in triumph. But the last laugh is held by smarmy little Lord Cutler Beckett (smarmy little Tom Hollander) and unkempt Would-be Commodore James Norrington (Jack Davenport) who are high-fiving each other all the way to the East India Trading Company Commissary due to the fact that they hold in their smarmy, unkempt hands the Heart of Davy Jones... meaning they hold the keys to The Flying Dutchman... which means... the Sea is theirs... whether Governor (and Elizabeth's daddy) Weatherby Swann (Jonathan Pryce) likes it or not!
If they could only get rid of those Pesky Pirates.
No easy task, even with J.-Spa pushing up Kelp, seeing as how super-hot Voodoo Babe Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris, hell hath no fury like her) has brought back from the dead the only Pirate Captain nearly as Bad as The Big J... Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush)! Yep... a man SO bad, the only man who could kill him was Jack Sparrow... who, as I said... you know... Octopus Lunch.
If the crew of The Black Pearl is to survive the coming of the new age, they must convene the council of Pirate Lords... you know, get all the backstabbers together to prevent the Backstabbing! The problem with that is that one of the Pirate Lords is Jack himself who... kelp... pushing...
Luckily, as she's proven before, Death is no Obstacle to Tia Dalma... it's life she's having issues with. I'll tell you, she's something else in her expanded part! The good news is that her dress-bursting "treasure chest" is even bigger in this film... the bad news is... well... she's got crabs.
With the help (and oft-times, hindrance) of some familiar and powerful faces (like Yun-Fat Chow's Captain Sao Feng, Ghassan Massoud's Captain Ammand, Hakeem Kae-Kazim's Captain Jocard, Takayo Fischer's Mistress Ching, Marcel Iures' Captain Chevalle, Sergio Calderón's Captain Vallenueva and, yes, yes, yes, Keith Richards' Captain Teague), the intrepid (and, in the case of Lee Arenberg's Pintel and Mackenzie Crook's Ragetti, insipid) crew must sail quite literally to hell and back, boldly go where no man has gone before and only one woman has ever returned from and face off with not only the English Armada and the Undead Flagship known as The Flying Dutchman but also an overloaded and convoluted script by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio.
Still looming over Will is the kiss he saw saucy Jack and steamy Elizabeth share prior to Jack's internment in "The Locker", almost as much as the specter of his fish-zombie dad Bootstrap Bill (Stellan Skarsgĺrd) does from the halls (and walls) of the Dutchman itself. But most of the Pirates (on any ship) have a much more frightening and beautiful obsession of both love and hate gripping their very existence. She might be the salvation of their crumbling world, or she may be their World's End... Calypso, goddess of the sea!
Sound exciting? It is... virtually through and through... but, you see, I've only given you the set-up of this two and three quarter-hours movie. You've still got a whole flick to sit through. At World's End suffers from the apparent need to pack in just about every cool idea Elliott, Rossio, Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski had left over from the first two films. At times it can be surreal, trippy and fascinating, at times action packed... at times, however, it simply makes very little sense. Plot points fizzle fast, scenes that are played out to be poignant and gripping fall flatter than a piece of eight with the nearly complete lack of build up. Though it is (or can be) very funny, much of the comedy is "easy" comedy, and the real comical zingers that made the first two films (yes zucchini-munch, I said "Two") great are few and far between.
Those things said, it's still great fun to see how the elements from the first two films come to fruition here. Though, it's at least as disappointing to see others remain loose ends and still others receive predictable finales. The special effects, on the other hand... are incredible. Bill Nighy's eyes are left intact, causing him to remain menacingly recognizable, even through his CGI visage. Likewise the crew of the Dutchman is super-fantastic. And then... there's the acting. Sparrow is the role Johnny Depp received his first Oscar Nomination for. Here, he feels quite comfortable in his part, as if Jack himself is an old friend. Though Jack, in this case, is about as consistent as flat Pepsi (weirder than usual, too) Depp is still excellent. Keira... come on... I could write the entire review about her... Yum! Bloom, cool! Harris, yum and yum! Kevin McNally's Joshamee Gibbs... pirate-perfect! Look, it's all damned good, but some of the real fun is found in the delightfully over-the-top performance of Geoffrey Rush. He slices up the scenery with his rapier and wicked smile, matching Depp's swishy psychopathy, if that's possible.
With this much potential, it's sad that At World's End leaves one with mixed feelings. It's a thrill ride, to be sure, and it's more than worth seeing (and owning), but it's also an overwrought mess in so many ways. In places it's too slow, taking far too long to do far too little, in other areas it's far too fast, with little development. Surprisingly, even the speed is drawn out to the Nth degree, with the exciting swashbuckling, mast-toppling, rope-swinging, cannon-firing, sword-slinging, musket-booming, flintlock-popping, booty-boggarting action even managing to get just a tad dull in its near limitless stretch.
Yeah, it could've been better... yeah, it's still what I'm talkin' 'bout. Three and One Half stars out of Five for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, the final chapter in the Theme Park-inspired series. It's not quite "waterlogged", in fact, in places it's just what the Ship's Surgeon ordered, but it's also hard not to wish for just a bit more... and a lot more clarity. Stay through the credits for an added scene... not quite the rip-roarer the first or second one was, but then, how do you top an undead monkey scream and a canine cannibal god? Interestingly, that same question came up at my last Birthday Party. Yeah... don't... don't ask.
But, before I say "See you in the Next Reel", just let me remind you, a true Pirate doesn't need a full keyboard, a true pirate only needs the letter R. A true Pirate wouldn't even go see this film... because it's not rated R... And... oh... okay, let me tell you this one last really crappy Pirate Joke, then I'm done... hopefully forever... ready?
A pirate walks into a bar with a ship's helm attached to his belt. The bartender asks him if he realizes he's got a ship's helm attached to his belt. He responds "Aye, Matey... It's Drivin' me Nuts!"
Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! See you in the next reel, matey, or I'll be tyin' ye to the yardarm, ye scurvy dog! Then you'll get yer fifty lashes with a cat-o-nine-tails! Then ye'll be walkin' the plank. Arrrrrrrrrr. I'm sleepy.
(I mean "here"!)
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Too many stupid Pirate References?
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