Pirates of the Caribbean 3 - At World's End review by The Grim Ringler

Pirates of the Caribbean At Worlds End

Pirates of the Caribbean At Worlds End

I had a moment while watching Pirates 3 where I realized something interesting not necessarily right, but interesting. This film is very much the Return of the Jedi of this series. Here you find a hero in peril or lost, you find a relationship changing and in jeopardy, and you have great truths daring to be revealed. In the third, At Worlds End, you have the revelation of a characters true face, you have the Ewok element, which is to say the kooky spoilers to the villains (the pirate guild), and you have people willing to sacrifice for a greater good. Sure, it may be far fetched, but after you see it, think about it for a second. What that revelation meant to me though was that this film is setting itself up as more than just a blockbuster, but as a part of a series that will live on and touch the lives of generations to come.

If youre reading this, I shall hope you have seen the second film as spoilers for that film are coming thusly Jack has been gone now for some time and the world is no better for it. After the death of Jack Sparrow the East India Company has engaged the services of Davy Jones to crackdown on the pirates on the seas. AS this is going on, Elizabeth, Will, Barbossa, and the rest are devising a way to bring Jack back. Jack it would seem is one of the nine pirate lords that must be present if there is to be a meeting called of all the pirates to decide their course against the EIC and their tyranny. Getting to Jack is no easy task though, as the Black Pearl and its crew must enter the world between the living and the dead and journey into Davy Joness locker, then return, with Jack in tow. Forging an uneasy alliance with an Asian pirate lord, the crew of the Pearl are able to find and retrieve Jack, who, while happy to be alive once more, is a bit worse for wear. Finally together again, the crew begins making its way towards the meeting place of all the pirates, though this shall not be an easy task. Double crosses, questions of faith and loyalty, and a vast chasm between Elizabeth and Will all come to the fore as the turmoil of the sea spills onto the lives of those on the Pearl. All of this is leading towards a final showdown between Jack and Davy Jones, and the Pearl and the East Indian war ships. The mystery of who and what Jones is, and what his connection to another character will become clearer, as will the fates of all who we have come to care for, but really, its the fate of the seas that is the greatest battle here, and whether the time of Pirates truly has come to an end.

Reminiscent of The Wild Bunch, this is truly the end of an era. The time of pirates like Jack and Barbossa is nearly up and the very notion of this is something none of the pirates wants to imagine. The world is getting smaller, the seas more tame, and the days of lone pirate ships taking out other ships is ending as companies like the East India are stretching out their influence. The world is moving on. Its interesting to see that the pirates are not necessarily portrayed as the villains here but are seen more as evolutionary turns on the seas. What took the pirates from their right to impose their will was when they trapped and bound a mythical creature that was the very rage of the seas itself, and in binding that goddess, they mastered the seas. This mastery though has taken the pirates from what made them what they are, and what earned them their dominance. The great theme, as we see by the end of the third film, is fate and accepting what it is you are meant to be. It is only when the characters accept who they are and what they are that they can face the challenges that stand before them.

And I totally stand by my Star Wars allusion there.

Totally.

And yes, its good. Hell, this is a very good film and a great capper to this trilogy. Questions are answered, characters find their purposes, grudges are played out, and the characters that you want resolution with, you will get that resolution. What really got me though was how fun this film was. Its loose, its action packed, and there are touches of madness (especially in Joness Locker) that are brilliant. I am sure those moments will put some off, but if you are a fan of Terry Gilliam you will ADORE these touches. This is also a darker film than the previous two. The world has become very violent and very dangerous and we see this from the first moments of the film. Sparrow is weirder than ever, for sure, but I love that they have never tried to make him be a hero, but have allowed him to be heroic. Hes a cad, and thats how he should remain. You also get to see more depth to some of he characters that are part of the films but were not really given much to do other than menace or cower. There is a great sub-plot of love, lost, gained, and given away, and it gives the film a tragic tone that never leaves, but which never becomes too dark. These loves really show that there is more going on here than is seen, and how love can be either a great ally or your very downfall.

The direction is once again very fun and at times startlingly beautiful. Sets, makeup, and CGI are really fantastic and all work to create a world that sits between reality and fantasy but which seems rooted in both. You cant say that Knightley or Bloom will set the screen on fire with their acting but neither is a real hindrance to the film and honestly, there are SO many damned good actors on hand (Geoffrey Rush leading the charge, here) that you hardly notice them.

I think the hardest thing to get a handle on when the film opens is that time has passed, things have happened, and we may never learn what all of that was. A villain is offed between films (its explained away, but its a bit of a cheat, lets face it), and things just feel DIFFERENT. Its similar to the difference between Empire and Jedi and you will get your bearings, but it is distracting. Also distracting is that Jones is suddenly the servant of the East Indian Company, which works, but also takes a moment to get used to. Its understandably WHY this happens, and its logical, but you go from him being so powerful and wild to being a servant. Strange. The biggest gripe everyone will have is that there is a LOT going on. And I mean a LOT. It mostly makes sense, but damn, it does get confusing, trying to keep the double-crosses clear. Sure, there is a lot of sweeping, and swooping of the camera, and there are times when the camera is almost TOO mobile, but heck, I think thats a petty gripe in the face of such a strong film.

So yes, its good. Its great, actually. What bothers me is to hear so many people complaining about its length. Ok, its a full movie, for sure, but give me a long, full movie over a long character piece any time. This is what this film is about. There is a lot to clear up and darn it, isnt it better to have the questions answered than to have us get another wrap up like the Star Wars films where you end up still needing answers that just dont exist. If you love Jack, and have liked the past two films you will like this one. The first film still stands as the best in the series, but man, this is a great entry and a wonderful way to wrap things up.

PLEASE, if you see this, stay after the credits. They are looooong credits, but its well worth it for whats after the credits. Promise.

Great, great, great.

c




8 out of 10 Jackasses
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