Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

2007 was not a good year to watch the third movie in a series. Shrek the Third, Ocean’s 13, and Spider-Man 3 were all disappointments to one degree or another (I cleverly placed them in order of which I liked from least to most, but you can feel free to have your own varying degrees of displeasure with them). Fortunately Pirates 3, which I may be the only person on the planet to have not seen in theaters, is here to break through that miasma of mediocrity.

To be sure, this film is not without its fair share of problems. What is intriguing to me about them, though, is that each film in this series has different flaws than the others. The first one featured uneven acting and battle scenes that seemed way too long and pointless, considering half the fighters were immortal. The second one had better overall acting, but heavily downplayed Johnny Depp’s role, despite him being the most entertaining person in the film, and gave us fairly dull CG villains rather than entertaining human ones. This one, much like my reviews often tend to be, is just way too damned long. Clocking in at just under three hours, it throws in everything it can to make this feel like a proper ending to a trilogy, including an epilogue that sets up a potential fourth film. As a result, some things get rushed, most notably the band of Chinese pirates led by Chow Yun-Fat, who are given the thankless task of being glorified cannon fodder while the real stars constantly steal each scene.

Despite this clutter and length, the film does indeed manage to feel somewhat epic in scope, giving us a plot that takes the cast to the literal end of the Earth and beyond, and even if Chow Yun-Fat’s cameo is largely wasted, Keith Richards’ as Depp’s father is simply inspired. This movie isn’t particularly amazing, but it does manage one increasingly difficult trick: it manages to conclude a trilogy without a single lame movie in the set. Outside of the Lord of the Rings, I can’t think of a single other trilogy this decade that’s managed that much.

Rating: ***


Zed said...

I loved the Whole series, but this one was a little bit too long,it's always very difficult to give a trilogy conclusion that will satisfy everyone, to my taste it had too many "sub-endings" that in the end kinda watered down the momentum, (from action,romance, simple comedy,credits,romance again)but still a way better conclusion that the Matrix series (Peace??, WT..?).

Patrick Roberts said...

The first Pirates of the Caribbean was great, not too sure about the other two, tho the special effects were top notch of course