The Red Right Hand

At The End Of The World, The Adventure Begins

Gore Verbinski
Johnny Depp
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley
Bill Nighy

I received a bit of flak for awarding Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest a whopping 7/10. Droves of unhappy movie goers (three blokes, one named Steve, one named Arulraj and one named Cruiz) e-mailed me with their avid complaints, wording all their frustrations as if I made the damn thing. Like a tired coal miner, explaining redundancy to his sons, I sat them down and calmly walked through my argument. To summate what was written: It was an entertaining summer blockbuster, which is all it was trying to be. It asked a lot of questions and created plenty of plot threads which should be neatly rounded off in the third instalment. Sure, it was a tad long and I think the whole cannibal thing could have been cut but it's certainly endurable. If the named gentlemen are reading this I would like to state that those arguments do not hold for this feature and if you didn't like the second, avoid the third like nobody's business. That's right, kiddies; Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (despite the popular acronym 'AWE') is not good, it is in fact bad. When the trailer was first released I turned to my friends and said, "...doesn't look like much happens." No truer words, dear reader.

Alright, maybe it's not that bad and it's an enjoyable watch if you have the bladder of a sniper, a leathery arse and you happen to be thirteen years old. First of all, the plot... well, part of it. Jack's [Depp] dead; the tone of which reminded me of Det Sjunde Inseglet. Barbossa [Geoffrey Rush] has been raised from the dead. Turner is [Bloom] still trying to save his father. Swann [Knightley] is trying to save Jack. Beckett [Tom Hollander] is trying to execute pirates in the most efficient way possible. Davy Jones [Nighy] is unhappy about being an 'employee' of the East India Trading Compay. Tia Dalma [Naomie Harris] has her own private agenda (to get into the Guinness book of records as the new 50 foot woman) and a whole mesh of other characters demonstrate their own issues and concerns, in a desperate attempt to cram in everyone who has ever featured in a Pirates Of The Caribbean movie.

If one glazes over the plot and the absurd amount of double-crossing and back-stabbing, Pirates looks beautiful. The CGI is beyond awe-inspiring and exceeds what we have seen in a long time. Except for one shot in a jail cell, which was pants. The main problem, other than the immense running time is the over-indulgence and self-importance of the series. The creators are now fully aware that no matter what they do, this will be the highest grossing film of the year, if not the decade/all time/whatever. They are also well aware that audiences need closure and have attempted to round off every little subtle plot point over the last two movies. This makes for one almighty, overwhelming mess. If you view the pirates sequels as one film (as the plot intends; similar to Back To The Future and The Matrix) the whole ordeal just seems boggling and unnecessarily convoluted. The action has been toned down (bar the last hour), the humour is all but gone (Jack's change from eccentric to full-blown-crazy didn't exactly go down brilliantly) and a serious overtone has been forced onto what should be a very enjoyable family film. This movie is a darker version of its predecessors but without any demand for it; no one asked for anyone to play with the original formula but there is an unwritten law that states sequel plots are supposed to mature (bar horrors and comedies). Despite all the negatives, this is still an entertaining sequel (I refuse to use the word finale) and will please Pirates fans but don't expect a great deal of re-viewings.

Release Date:
24th May 2007

The Scene To Look Out For:
Moments before an epic battle at sea (that mostly peters out to, what can only be described as, 'sod all') the leaders of the warring factions stand off on a causeway in the water. The reason I'm highlighting this is for its stupidity, the back-and-forth treachery and Hans Zimmer's blatant rip off of Ennio Morricone's 'The Man With The Harmonica' from Once Upon A Time In The West. Either that or Beckett's slo-mo walk down the exploding staircase; hilariously moronic - "must avoid... all... splinters!"

Notable Characters:
I've always thought Barbossa is the perfect pirate, illustrating just how they ought to be - bar the rape; I always loved how Disney glazed over that particular element of 'pillaging.' His character makes a more than welcome return and Chow Yun-Fat is disgustingly underused (although his weird, grungy Singapore, filled with authentic Chinese goths was a little odd) but I'm going to go with Jack Sparrow's father, played by Keith Richards. Why? He wasn't over-done, he played a guitar and he looked like a cool pirate; need I say more?

Highlighted Quote:
"I have no sympathy for any of you feculent maggots and no more patience to pretend otherwise. Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness"

In A Few Words:
"Glad I saw it but the thought of watching it again does make me cringe a little"

Total Score:

Matthew Stogdon