Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Gonch's New Movie Review: "Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End"

Greetings from the state closest to the caribbean. Summertime is here and you can tell because Jack Sparrow and crew are riding the high seas again, hopefully not for the last time. This has been an intriguing series, for one must remember that it is based solely off a theme park ride. That in itself is an amazing accomplishment, to come up with 3 successful films based off a ride. With that said, here's the ups and downs of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

We remember from Dead Man's Chest, the second film in the series, that Jack Sparrow, our unlikely hero is basically, well dead. Swallowed whole by the Kraken. But he's not dead-dead, if that makes sense. Because Davy Jones caused his demise intentionally, he's been sent to Davy Jones' locker and this isn't the high school kind. Rather it's like a purgatory that seems like it could drive a normal man mad, but then Captain Sparrow is no normal man, he's nearly already nuts. Johnny Depp lives this character, it's hard to imagine anyone else in the role or seeing him as another character. This film is not the best of Jack but it's still nice to see him again.

But who is it really nice to see again? This film marks the return of Captain Barbossa, played by a true pirate in Geoffrey Rush. I think Barbossa is a refreshing turn missing in the second film because he embodies what we think of pirates, while Sparrow is just a crazy twist between a pirate and a good man. Barbossa, like everyone else, has his own agenda but he's pretty much on the side of good this time. That might be one confusing but good plot of the film, that everyone has something motivating them towards the end, and I do mean everyone. Eventually, the good guys all have a reason to try to stop Lord Beckett of the East India Company and Davy Jones, whom Beckett now controls with the Dead Man's Chest and Jones' heart, from annihilating every last pirate in the seas. Of course, someone like Sparrow plans to do the right thing, but for his own crazy reasons. As for Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann? They are still fun to have around, maybe not as much as the pirates, but they hold their own quite well. I think Keira's character has grown on me far better than Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane Watson.

This third film is likely the least of the trilogy but not by much. It may only lack in three areas. The first is length, not so much lacking but perhaps going on for a bit long. You certainly get your money's worth though. Unlike Spider-Man 3, which I unfortunately make many comparisons to, the extra time is not always spent talking or staring at closeups. Rather it's been spent on lavish special effects and battles. The climactic battle actually feels fairly epic, it lasts for a good while. Another issue could be the confusing plot points. Really, it's not that bad, there's a lot going on but there's a method to the madness. There is no scene without reason and everything pays off in the end, questions answered and character arcs going full circle. Finally, I found issue with the characters of the Pirate Lords, representing the far corners of the world. Some are incredibly stereotypical, even for that time period and they really do very little. In a film of very interesting and wild characters, they somehow stick out like a sore thumb. Thankfully they are not given a ton of screentime.

Again when comparing with Spidey 3, this film remembers something that film might have forgotten, both its heart and origins. Even in At World's End, there are references to the theme park ride directly. Listen for what happens as we enter Davy Jones' locker and you might recognize some direct ride audio! It also manages to still be fun to see these characters and in general pirates on screen. Not that Spidey has worn on anyone, but some of the fun was taken out of that film in comparison.

In the end, if you enjoyed the first two Pirates films, this will likely be another swashbuckling tale of fun. It may not feel exactly like the other two, but it is still at its core a continuation of the same story. There will be some strange goings on, but that's the price to pay to get someone back from the land of the dead. Frankly, I hope the franchise can continue to find life on the seas. Just listening to some of the still fun to hear language reminds you of how Disney can still create magic. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End receives Gonch's Gold Medal of Cap'n Jack Sparrow, Savvy?

Now then, drink up me hearties, yo ho!


Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home