Newest Review: ... for sensitive children whether they are watching the film with parents or not. There are bonus features with this DVD but after 168 mi... more
Overboard and all at sea
Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End (DVD)
Member Name: Praskipark
Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End (DVD)
Advantages: A very silly Johnny Depp, a couple of spectacular images
Disadvantages: Lousy plot, hectic soundtrack, too much going on
We all know that Captain Jack Sparrow is possibly the worst pirate that ever sailed the seas and his two partners in crime, Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), aren't much better. His sinking ship is always over stuffed with battles, slapstick nonsense and utter chaos, so why do movie goers love this character and his band of scallywags? I ask why because I don't know the answer and, being a life long Depp fan, I have always been bemused at just how popular these films are. The first part of the trilogy was acceptable, the second lukewarm and the third which I am about to review - well, here goes.......
Plot - is there one? I am racking my brains trying to work it out amongst the chaotic noise, shooting, explosions, ridiculous swordplay, gruesome characters, etc., etc.
It seems that Lord Beckett (Tom Hollander) is trying to rid the great seas from all pirates. He's a malicious sort of chap and by his evil means has managed to retrieve the heart of Davy Jones which is still beating. He's also taken on board the menacing, barnacled crew of Jones's beloved ship, The Flying Dutchman.
In the meantime, our friendly and not so friendly heroes; Will, Elizabeth, Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and the dark and deep Tia Dalma, (Naomie Harriss) are out looking for the crazy rascal, Jack Sparrow who is wandering around in a deathly underworld. But before they can release Jack they have to outsmart Captain Sao Feng. Who the hell is he you might ask - a Chinese pirate of course! Another question - why do they need Jack Sparrow so desperately - because without him the film would be a total flop! He is also needed to join the other 8 members of the Lords of the Brethren Court. Yes, stay with me on this one - it is still a Pirates film and I haven't started reviewing Lord of the Rings. The nine famous world pirates can draw on their experiences and use their resources to outwit Beckett ad his annoying band of cronies from the East India Trading Company. So do they find Sparrow and blast Beckett out of the seas.............?
That's the best I can do on the plot because in all my years of watching movies I have never viewed such nonsense. For example, The Lords of the Brethren Court - I find the whole idea ridiculous. Surely Gore Verbinski (director) lost the plot with this scene when introducing nine such characters who are so culturally diverse or perhaps he wanted to be trendy and show that the film was politically correct. Whatever his reasons the whole scene left me cold.
This film runs for 168 minutes and it's a very long 168 minutes. The beginning is painfully slow and I found myself getting irritable with all the noise from the soundtrack. I just wanted to see Depp and as always he takes ages to appear. It's a long time to watch an unsteady ship full of buffoons, clambering and falling around like a class full of young delinquents. I didn't like any of the characters apart from Jack Sparrow, they were all false and cheated on each other and to understand their crazy motives you will need a degree in psychology which I don't possess. Usually, in a good pirate film you back one side but I didn't really care who won the battles. The characterisation was so bad - I didn't get to know any of them and I didn't want to.
The plot is waterlogged and even Jack Sparrow can't save the day. He's been given some funny lines and delivers them in his usual cheeky way. He looks cute with his dreadlocks, ribbons, dark eyes and full pirate, designer gear but most of the time spends most of his on-screen time bumbling around and cracking jokes. He doesn't come into the story telling like in the other two movies because basically, there isn't much of a story to tell.
The best scene in the film is where Johnny is delirious. It has a sort of Gulliver's Travels aura about the scene with excessive white lighting, showing Sparrow demented; talking to miniature Jack Sparrows as they climb down his dreadlocks. Great photography but the scene doesn't fit the movie - it would be better in something like The Matrix.
Where I think the director really messed up was when we suddenly realise the truth about the shattered heart of Davy Jones and his broken love. This sad melody cannot be heard properly for all the racket going on aboard the ship in the form of cannons exploding and the usual on board wars. It's just one hell of a row and I could see my poor husband wincing all the way through this scene - well, all the way through the film, if I'm honest. Davy Jones was such a terrific apparition in the second part of the trilogy but here he is just another active part of the sea shambles.
Even the sad story of Will Turner seeking to release his father from the slave underworld loses its moment due to the tidal wave of special effects from the over enthusiastic camera crew. The monumental love scene was ludicrous and had no poignancy whatsoever. However, it was nice to see the mysterious Calypso return to the stormy waters and there are one or two spectacular images that stand out and are as good as the images in the previous films. I loved the way the Black Pearl sailed through a sea of pure white sand, an aerial shot of a boat gliding through fields of stars and and a dwelling place haunted by baffling winds and dejected ghosts. The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer was one hell of a din and so loud and disjointed it left me feeling seasick.
Oh, I haven't mentioned Keef - what is he doing on this set?. As much as I like Keith Richards and I know Depp adores him, and in a way it is a tribute to the great man of rock n roll, I just thought his apparition was far too corny. Great face, good gravel voice but not really necessary.
To sum up - I really tried to like the film but failed. Depp was cool but he always is and nobody else could ever take his place. Although Orlando Bloom is dashing in a young Eroll Flynn sort of way - he can't act for toffee and I remember on one of my previous Pirates reviews, a fellow Dooyooer commented that Keira Knightley was as flat as an ironing board. I couldn't have phrased it better myself.
Everything else was just an an overload, a bombardment of dark, daft tales, chaotic actions, drunkenness, raw beating hearts and sucked out brains. Not to forget gouged out eyes and other broken, snapped off body parts. I knew from the start when I saw the child being hanged that I wasn't going to enjoy the film. This is a family film but some of the scenes are too scary for sensitive children whether they are watching the film with parents or not.
There are bonus features with this DVD but after 168 minutes of sitting through these Caribbean escapades I didn't have the strength or the will to view any of them. If you really wish to know more about the features then here is a link:http://www.ultimatedisney.com/pirates-atworld send.html
My DVD was a gift and it has been sat on the shelf since the end of 2007. I believe you can purchase it from Amazon for as little as £5.19.
I am awarding the film 2 ** which doesn't please me as this is a Depp film but it really doesn't deserve any more accolades than this. Watch it at your own peril.
Summary: The worst of the three