Sunday, 8 July 2007

Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End

Good Luck Captain Jack!

The final (at the moment) part of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Trilogy sails into cinema screens this year and was it worth the wait? (Albeit being a very short one.)

Well let me first briefly explain my opinions of the first two films. I liked Curse of the Black Pearl quite a bit, it was a nice little film with some cool ideas and the highlight most definitely being Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow. But that was about it, it was just a film that was easy to watch. I didn’t geek out for it or anything like that.

Then along came ‘Dead Man’s Chest’ which I absolutely loved and went crazy for. I just adored every aspect of it; the amount of imagination and creativeness that had gone into this film blew my mind. Whether it be Davy Jones and his crew, the Kraken, the spectacular set pieces, the characters and there charisma, the set up for what could truly be an amazing story and all the other little details that were hidden away. It was a marvel to behold, not only was it jaw-dropping to look at, it had created a huge world that I wanted to explore further. It was easily my favourite film of 2006. It even made me enjoy COTBP much more when I re-watched it.

So combined with Spider-man 3, this was my most highly anticipated film of 2007. What did I think?

I’ve got to be honest, I was disappointed. Instead of coming out of the cinema all excited and amazed screaming “I can’t wait to see that again!” (As I had with DMC) it was just ok. By no means bad, just not particularly awesome either.

To me it looked like they’d put all the creativeness and imagination of crazy set-pieces and humour into DMC, and AWE was left with lots of dialogue and bogged down “story”.

The fact that this is the 2nd half of one story also means the film has lost the initial wow-factor that DMC had. Don’t get me wrong Davey Jones is a technical master-piece, I didn’t even think of him as a CGI character, he was just another member of the cast. But again that’s part of the problem, I was no longer awe-struck by him, he’s just another person talking. And that’s all that really happens for the first two hours – people discuss things.

You have minor blips of action, but they are all relatively short compared to the amount of standing around that’s done before and after them. The only big sequence in the first 2 hours is near the beginning at Singapore. But this is not anything new or unique, it’s just a set being blown up whilst people run around.

Apart from Davey Jones and his crew (oh and some crabs), the CGI budget has all been saved for the last half-hour.

As well as having a lot less action, this film is also a lot darker in tone and therefore a lot of the humour is toned down as well, it’s all much more subtle.

In addition, some people saying that the story is really complicated and hard to understand - it isn’t at all. It is made hard to follow due to all the characters double crossing each other and speaking a lot, but the actual story itself is pretty straightforward.

First act – Save Jack from Davey Jones Locker.
Second act – Prepare for battle against East Indian Trading Co.
Third act – Fight between Pirate Lords and EIT Co.

Yes, other things are going on, but it mainly involves people talking about or bargaining on how to get to these key plot points. Some of the double-cross’s are quite amusing to follow though.

The thing that is strange and a huge let down, is that they spend so much time building up to a climatic finale that then goes nowhere.

They speak endlessly about releasing Calypso and what would happen if they do, and then when they do she just runs away never to be seen again.

Also the end battle looks like it’s going to be incredible with all the Pirate Lords lined up to face the entire fleet of the EIT Co, and then it turns into a one on one battle between the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman, whilst everyone else watches.

This battle is amazing and is by far the highlight of the film, (as they wash around a huge whirl-pool blasting cannon at each other) and as CG special effects go it’s phenomenal, but it just happens. They haven’t spent two hours building up towards this moment, the Pirate Lords don’t need to be there, the EIT Co doesn’t need to be there, Calypso doesn’t need to have been released (it’s argued she starts the whirlpool, but you wouldn’t know because it’s not explained). It’s all wasted, as the Pearl and Dutchman could have had this fight at anytime during the film.

They do however tie up all the character storylines (well the one’s that are still alive) and for that it does have a clear ending to the trilogy. Though at the same time it has been left wide-open for a sequel.

Needless to say Johnny Depp is the stand-out again and all the scenes he is in are magnificent and fun to watch.

Overall a minor disappointment, no because it’s bad but for it could have been.



Anonymous said...

Well I would have to disagree with your review! I think its the best out of the 3 films. The cross over stories being the best element, thats what kept my attention! I have to agree though that, as always Jack sparrow made it!!!

Anonymous said...

I saw POTC 3 three times this summer. Each viewing brings more depth and undersatnding of the story. The CGI that you talok about in the final battle is outstanding -- love when the guy walks down the stairs which are blowing up behind him -- hope they win based on that alone. Outside of Johnny D, I think that Geoffery Rush is outstanding as Captain Barbosa. He was certainly missed in POTC 2. The ending of the movie especially the part beyond the credits hint at what's in store for the series. Nice review -- keep up the work, savvy? Arrr.