The Summer of 2007 will undoubtedly go down as the â€œSummer of Sequelsâ€ in the eyes of moviegoers everywhere. Hollywood has proved that if it can be made, then it can be made again and again to the tune of large box office bank. Take the case of Spider-Man 3, which to me is by far the worst of the entire series. It got the summer off to a very disappointing start, both in the fact that it flat out sucked and the fact that it rolled over some major box office records. We were then given Shrek the Third, which also fell short of being spectacular but managed to cash in big. And now, finally we have Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End in our grasp and it has to have us wondering that maybe we should have started here in the first place.
Seeing as I promised Disney that I wouldn’t give too much away and I don’t want to spoil the film for you, I will keep this part short and sweet. If you’ve seen Dead Man’s Chest then you know that Jack Sparrow has been locked away in Davey Jones’ locker far off the edge of the world. Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley), Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and a host of other recognizable scalawags set off to bring him back, as he alone holds the key to stopping the plundering Davey Jones. And to boot, those pesky Brits and their tea company are chasing down all the pirates on the open seas and exterminating them like a common pest. Once they get Jack back, the crew of the Black Pearl must fight enemies from all sides, known and unknown to preserve the Pirate way of life and stop those who would force them into extinction.
Oh and did I mention that Kieth Richards shows up with an absolutely classic cameo as Jack Sparrow’s creepy and insane father. Thankfully that is no spoiler either, you should have at least known that by now. What you don’t know going into At World’s End is that it is going to be an in-your-face explosion of epic CGI shots and fantastic swashbuckling action. The filmmakers have taken the ingenious special effects of Dead Man’s Chest and kicked things up a notch, delivering a film that is on a grand scale similar to that of what Peter Jackson did with Return of the King, only this time we get some really exciting and funny characters with our helping of computer generated extravagance.
As well, the performances are right on par with the entire series. Johnny Depp is loony and devious as Captain Jack, Geoffrey Rush seems as if he were born to play a crazy pirate and Orlando Bloom stays out of the way enough to be effective. Even Keira Knightley comes through and brings Ms. Swan to the forefront and into the action.
In fact, the only thing that may make even the most die hard POTC fans weary is the 168 minute run time of the film. And yes, it is butt-numbingly long; this does become a bit problematic considering the reason it is long is because there are some slightly unnecessary scenes in which Jack Sparrow hallucinates that he is seeing multiples of himself all over the place, including a really tacky rendition of the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other. But aside from that the film, just like Dead Man’s Chest, pushes along pretty well, never leaving anyone behind right up to the end.
And it is the end that may make it worth it for some folks. For me, it was all of the fast paced sword play and cool effects leading up to the big twist that make this film good. But whether or not you like the way the film plays out or not, I can say that it is worth waiting around to see what happens… even if that means staying all the way to the end of the credits.