Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End was THE movie I wanted to see in the summer. The first sequal left us hanging, so the anticipation had been extremely high. Even though it was verly likely that many of us would be diappointed, judging from the much more confusing story and the lost sense of originality, I was still counting down the days to its release.
Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) got hold of Davy Jones’s heart and command of the Flying Dutchman. He wanted to rid the seas of all pirates, giving his The East India Trading Company total control. Will (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), and Capt. Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) went on the voyage to the end of the earth to rescue good old Capt. Jack Sparrow (Jonney Depp), with the help of Capt. Sao Feng’s (Chow Yun-Fat) crew and map. To fight against lord Beckett and Davy Jones’s evil alliance, the pirates lords gathered and put together the nine pieces of eight (Hey, are you really looking for logic in this movie?) and released the goddess Calypso, Jones’s lover who had been betrayed and trapped in a human form. They hoped the goddess would forgive them and unleash her anger at Jones. But of course, this is a sotry of pirates, and pirates all have secret plans of their own…
In Dead Man’s Chest, we witnessed Will’s becoming of a pirate himself. He was no longer the naive blacksmith. Even Elizabeth was not so innocent. Jack saw the true pirate in her as well. In At World’s End, it was clear that the two newcomers of the deceiving game were playing their cards right, capable of matching up with the pros. Bloom is never known for his acting skills, and Kightley’s Elizabeth can be so plain and flat sometimes. This development shifted the focus to the storyline, hiding the weak spots of the characters. However, all the lies and secret damaged the bond between them. Supposedly, that was why the two characters were so distant from each other for the most part of the movie. But don’t worry, it’s Disney. There is always a happy ending…no matter how abrupt it seems.
My favourite character in this movie was Capt. Barbossa. He had the charisma and madman quality of a pirate captain, but not in the same league as the feminine trickster, Capt. Jack Sparrow. I totally see him command a crew to fit his needs. He may be selfish and dishonest, but that’s what makes him a great pirate. Depp’s Capt. Sparrow was even crazier than ever, since he had returned from Davy Jones’s locker. The audience could never be sure if he was really going mad or that was just his way of cooking up another clever scheme. It was also very fun to look at the power struggle of Sparrow and Barbossa, as they were both fighting for the command of the Black Pearl. Again, Rush and Depp seemed to enjoy themselve in their roles, and that shine through the silver screen.
The mysterious love story between Jones and Calypso was touched upon in the last movie in the series. It was a major storyline in this film. But with the thick accent and a million other things going on, I don’t know how many people really understand what happened between these two tragic lovers. It seemed like it was going to be a romatic plot in Dead Man’s Chest, but now it just made me confused.
Lord Beckett’s hatred for pirates was not clearly explained. He just served his role as the evil corporation that wanted to take over the world. It would feel more complete if his back story was explored a little more. The character of Norrington (Jack Davenport) was a shame. He receive more screen time in the first sequal, and the change in his character was more interesting. Apparently, once he got his old uniform back on, he became a noble, dumb officer again. And after all what he’s done for her, Elizabeth still didn’t look at him for more than five minutes! Alright, I know I’m usually pulling for the other guy, but seriously, he has been totally wasted after all the development in the last Pirates.
I am surprised at how well organized this blog entry is, because the movie sure was not. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End was contrived and complicated, maybe more than necessary. But that did not mean the movie was devoid of all the fun a summer blockbuster should have. The most amazing special effect was the ship battle as seen in the trailers and commercials. It did not disappoint. The film’s pace felt faster than Deadman’s Chest, even though its 168-minute running time was slightly longer. I didn’t regret going to see it in the theatre. It just left me with confusion and a sense of incompleteness when the credits rolled. Perhaps that has something to do with missing the hidden scene after the credit was done. (I don’t know why I forgot. The two previous Pirates all had extra scenes after the credits. Damn you, jumbo iced tea!)
- Johnny Depp has publicly said that his portrayal of Capt. Jack Sparrow is based on The Rolling Stone’s guitarist, Keith Richards. Richards had a cameo role in this movie, playing Jack’s father, Captain Teague.
- Chow Yun-Fat’s Sao Feng raised some controversies in China, because his make-up as a pirate tarnish the Chinese image. In my opinion, it’s not a big deal. He is a pirate. That’s how a pirate looks like. And it’s a fictional movie. I can think tons of other things we can do to give Chinese a bad name other than looking dirty.
- All photos © 2007 Walt Disney Pictures