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Picking up some undetermined amount of time after Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End continues where the second film left off… Jack dead, Davey Jones under the control of the East Indian Trading Company, and all of the other regulars looking for how to bring Jack back from Davey Jones’ locker.
After a disturbing opening scene of random people being hung for association with pirates, including a small boy, we hear another pirate song we hadn’t heard yet. For some unexplained reason this thrills the men of the Trading Company, but it leads us to Singapore, for the first of many large set pieces. Elizabeth (Keira Knightly) and Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) have come to meet Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat). They’ve come for a ship, but they learn that Will (Orlando Bloom) got captured stealing the equally important map they needed. When the Trading Company soldiers arrive, all hell breaks loose, and the first of may treacherous moments happens when Will, now freed, promises to deliver the Black Pearl to Sao Fen.
Really, I could sit here and recap the entire movie for you, but it would just be me jumping from set scene to set scene. Suffice to say, they get Jack back from Davey Jones locker, in an amazing scene of the Pearl sailing dry land, and then we just leap… and leap… and leap. There is a plot, but it’s convoluted and you need a chart to keep track of who currently is double-crossing who else. Basically, just suspect that at all times EVERYONE is betraying someone else.
Do all the plots get wrapped up? Yes. I really can’t think of any questions I went into this movie with that didn’t get answered. And even new questions raised in this one get answered. The storytelling IS loose, rushed, a lot of things happen just a bit too conveniently, with no rhyme or reason, they just… happen. And as much as I pride myself on enjoying movies that make sense… I didn’t really care. I like these characters, I like the setting, and I adore this huge mythos they have managed to create in these films. It’s the real world, but seen through the eyes of old sailors who have spent too much time at sea.
There is a new, unexpected twist that was fairly surprising: Is Jack Sparrow truly insane? The past two films had made you think he was off kilter, but this time out, you wonder if he is just plum certifiable. He takes talking to himself to a whole new level, that’s for sure. As you would expect though, Johnny Depp again delivers in an amazing style. You really wonder if there is anything this man can’t do sometimes.
If there is any complaint I have, and it is minor, it has to be that Will Turner never really mattered to me over the course of these films. Was it poor scripting, or poor acting on the part of Orlando Bloom? Elizabeth had a story arc, Jack is a force of nature, Will… misses his daddy? I don’t know, I just think they could have done a lot more with his character.
We have been told this is the last film, but they left it wide open for at least one more film, but it would probably be without Will and Elizabeth and would probably focus solely on Jack and Barbossa. Fine.By.Me. Bring it on. For all it’s faults, sloppy storytelling, and sometimes over indulgence, I will gladly plop down my money again at the theater and take another ride on the Black Pearl.