MRR Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End


Movie Review: "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"

-- Rating: PG-13
Length: 169 minutes
Release Date: May 25, 2007
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Genre: Action, Adventure

Ending a film series is always a difficult thing for a studio, and at the time, the studio believed that "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" was the last "Pirates" film. Orlando Bloom had already made it known that he would not return, and Johnny Depp was iffy about his role in future films. The studio knew that it had to go out with a big bang, and it accomplished that with this film.

The film takes the beloved characters to Singapore and increases the action. Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp, "21 Jump Street") died at the end of the previous film, leaving his crew in shambles. Will Turner (Bloom, "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring") and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley, "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World") lead the crew on a voyage to Davey Jones Locker in the hopes of finding and rescuing Sparrow. The film really begins when the ship makes its way there and discovers its hidden secrets.

Depp does great work when playing kooky and quirky characters, and here, he is at his best. The actor admitted that he created the character of Sparrow by watching musician Keith Richards move on stage, and Richards himself makes a cameo here, playing Sparrow's father. Watching the two together onscreen is something that no fan of the franchise should miss. Depp also does a great job playing two versions of the beloved character as Sparrow finds himself trapped in a strange world with his living and dead selves.

The franchise spent hours focusing on the relationship between Elizabeth and Will, but the characters serve little function in this film. Bloom comes across as slightly dull, and Knightley seems a little too chipper at times for the film's dark nature. When they come together though, the sparks almost explode off the screen. They still have the same great chemistry that helped make the first film such a hit.

Another standout of the film is Geoffrey Rush ("The King's Speech") playing Captain Barbossa. While the character appeared in the other films, he really comes into his own in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End". Rush and Depp are like two sides of the same coin. While Depp's Sparrow is a drunken pirate who prefers hitting on women and wreaking havoc, Rush's pirate is as rough and tumble as the ones children read about. Rush brings an unexpected darkness to Barbossa that makes the character one that viewers cannot stop watching.

This film provides the action that the second "Pirates" film lacked. The previous film focused on a sea creature that battled the crew of the ship, while this one introduces other pirates and characters that feel more threatening. Those who were disappointed by the last film will find that this one contains all the elements of a great action film. Treasured characters wind up in situations that actually feel like life or death situations, and fans will find themselves inching forward, keeping their fingers crossed that everyone survives.

One of the things that make the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise so spectacular is the set, and this film has realistic sets. Watching the action unfold will remind some viewers of the days they spent playing pirates as a child. Most of the action takes place on the high seas, but the oceans have a darker look that draws the viewer into the film. From the ship to the underground scenes, those sets will keep every viewer entertained.

While all of the beloved characters are back, the director did a smart job of introducing new favorites. Chow Yun-Fat ("Curse of the Golden Flower") is the one new character that fans will love. His Captain Sao Feng only appears in a handful of scenes, but those scenes are some of the best in the film. The film also gets a boost from Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris, "28 Days Later") and Bootstrap Bill (Stellan SkarsgÄrd, "Beowulf & Grendel").

"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" is the perfect finish to the original "Pirates" trilogy. Nearly every major and minor character in the films gets a proper ending. Whether it's Will becoming a man and making a choice that will change his life forever, or Elizabeth choosing love over the adventure she craved in the first film, this one wraps up the stories while still leaving things open for another film.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars