Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End  

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
2007, in theaters

You should know
I’ve seen both previous movies in the series in theaters. I reviewed Dead Man's Chest, and even made a prediction about this (supposed) final chapter.

Now, I want to be fair and disclose that I was having a very bad night when I saw this, and didn’t particularly want to bother. Brian dragged me out anyway.

I may not have wanted to see the movie that night, but it was good to see it. And fortunately, my prediction wasn’t right – not entirely, anyway.

Normally, I would warn you about spoilers here, but I’m going to assume that if you’re bothering to read a review of At World's End, you’ve already seen Curse of the Black Pearl and Dead Man's Chest.

When we last left our heroes, Will was desperate to save his father, Elizabeth was desperate to save Jack, and Jack was, well, dead. More or less.

After a chilling opening that demonstrates that the law-abiding authority figures are the real villains (as they’d have to be if we’re to root for the pirates), the action picks up in the middle of a typically chaotic plot, chock full of double- and triple-crossing, that is intended to serve both those goals. Too bad Will and Elizabeth never bothered to talk to each other about those goals.

So, do the people who need saving get saved, the people who need killing get killed, and the people who need their happily-ever-after get it? Well, it’s a Disney film, so the best you can hope for in terms of surprises is “Sort of.” Which is what we got.

But Keith Richards did, in fact, show up, which was fairly awesome. Which brings me back to my prediction:

Do you remember the Matrix trilogy? An excellent, fun, popular movie that stood alone with no trouble, but that sparked the imaginations of fans who waited eagerly for a sequel? A fun but inferior sequel that was known ahead of time to be a setup for part three? A dismal, pointless conclusion that was notable only for its special effects?

Let’s just say I have a bad feeling about this trilogy.

I'm not afraid to admit I was wrong. At World's End is far superior to Matrix Revolutions. That's the beautiful thing about being a pessimist; either you get to be right, or you're wrong but something good happens instead.

See it if…
…You’ve seen the first two. Otherwise, go see the first two, and then come see this one.

The rest of the Internet
The franchise and film both have Wikipedia pages.
Users liked the movie much better than critics at Rotten Tomatoes.
Stephanie Zacharek at Salon wasn't thrilled.
Ryan Stewart at Cinematical seems to think my original prediction came to pass.
A group review at Movie Binge.

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