Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Run-time: 2 hours, 49 minutes
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Yun-Fat Chow, Tom Hollander, & Bill Nighy
The third and then-final chapter in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise may have garnered the worst critical reviews of the original trilogy, and it may have been the least-understood and least-loved installment of the films to that point, but I for one have always rather enjoyed it. Sure, I'm a bit of a Pirates fanboy, and I have no qualms with admitting myself to be as such. I can see where some may have been put off by At World's End - it's twenty minutes longer than Dead Man's Chest, making it the longest film in the series, On Stranger Tides included. At nearly three hours long, it definitely feels it at certain moments. But I still find it to be a romping ride into pirate mythology and lore.
As I mentioned in my write-up of Dead Man's Chest, the second and third films in the Pirates franchise held relatively true to the basics of pirate mythology. I didn't learn any of this until after seeing the third film in theaters. At the time, I was as confused as everyone else with all of the goofiness of Davy Jones' Locker in the film and its continuation in the film's reality. In addition, the concept of the goddess Calypso got a lot of people scratching their heads as well. As far-fetched as it sounds, it all holds true to the mythological basis of many a supernatural pirate story. And as we saw in The Curse of the Black Pearl, the filmmakers had no problem delving into the supernatural.
And so, if you can suspend your disbelief for the epically long adventure, you're in for quite a treat. Yes, there's a bit of pirate politics involved, and at points, the film moves a little bit slower than the previous films in the franchise. However, it all serves as quite a bit of exposition which may have been better served to be spread out throughout the franchise. We get it all here, as it were, and for those of you who are able, there's a lot to be had. I know that the screenplay offers quite a bit to digest, and I think the sheer magnitude of information we're given pushed a lot of viewers away when the film hit theaters back in 2007. There's so many intertwined storylines that it's a little bit difficult to follow at times, but multiple viewings definitely allow a better understanding.
As usual, we get a slew of legitimate performances. Johnny Depp is Jack Sparrow once again, delving into a bit of a weirder portrayal of him as he battles the doldrums of Davy Jones' Locker. The return of Geoffrey Rush to a starring role is also a welcome sight as his absence in the second film definitely caused me to miss him. We even get a cameo from famed Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richards, whose screen presence is so dominant that it's hard to take your eyes off him.
So although there's many an individual who wasn't fond of this ending to the trilogy, I for one love it equally and find it a legitimate finalé. Had the series ended on that note, I would have embraced the trilogy as it held. Fortunately for everyone, On Stranger Tides hits U.S. theaters tonight at midnight, so we shall see where the winds will take us. I couldn't be more excited.