Friday, June 08, 2007
Film Review: "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"
I can only hope that reviewing this film won't be as much of a chore as watching it was. While the experience of watching it was fun, because I went with a bunch of my friends from the Disney Store, the movie itself left a lot to be desired. This trilogy ends on a tired note, maybe even an exhausted one - and with the ending they give us it looks like Disney's only too ready to milk that dry teat even more.
In the last film, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) kissed pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) before leaving him to be eaten by the giant kraken. Now, she and Will (Orlando Bloom) and a resurrected Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), along with a host of sidekicks, must go to Davy Jones' (Bill Nighy) Locker (or the land of the Dead, or Tipsy-Turvy World, or whatever the hell that place was) and retrieve Jack Sparrow in order that he, as a pirate lord (where did this come from? Who does he lord over? He kinda sucks, and has always sucked, as a pirate...) can complete the Pirate Council Barbossa is planning.
See, the eeeeevil British Empire (led by Tom Hollander's Lord Cutler Beckett) got Davy Jones' heart-in-a-box in the second movie, and they're using it to control him into killing off every pirate they come across in order to free the seven seas. Davy's pretty effective at it, so Barbossa wants to assemble a Pirate Council in order to persuade the pirate lords to free Calypso - the goddess of the sea the pirate council bound to human form ages ago. Sure, Calypso might be pretty freakin' pissed about being bound for so long, but there's a chance she might just be angry enough to go up against the British too. Plus, Davy misses his girlfriend, someone in Jack Sparrow's crew is tattling to Cutler Beckett about where the Pirate Council is taking place, and apparently The Flying Dutchman (Davy's ship) is supposed to ferry the dead, but didn't, so that's why they're all fish people.
My thoughts exactly. The third movie is so stuffed with mythology and legend and subplots that there's no telling what the subject of the scene is going to be from one shot to the next. It's too full, because we're still carrying stories from the first and second movies, so we really don't need more subplots (Death-ferry Subplot, Calypso Subplot, Who Captains The Flying Dutchman Subplot).
Eventually, the movie seems to realize that, too - because by the very end, it jettisons pretty much every subplot not immediate to Jack, Will, and Elizabeth with cut-off, unexplained, unadorned endings that do not live up to their own elaborate set-ups. Looking for a dramatic resolution to Davy Jones' tragic love story? Sorry for the spoiler - but he doesn't get one. Neither does Calypso's release. Neither does the ferrying-the-dead-thing. And Lord Cutler Beckett, the film's villain, gets one of the lamest, most namby-pamby falsely artistic villain send-off I've ever seen. It was beneath his character, and just convenient to the film.
Visually, the film was stunning, I guess - but the story was just so terrible, so blatantly commercial and manipulative and obvious. I felt the movie was like eating nothing but candy when you're hungry for a meal - it only fills for a while, and at the end you're left with a hollow headache because you know what you ate wasn't at all good for you. So yeah, lame. Normally I go into more detail with my reviews, but I'm going to leave this one as is - because this movie isn't even worth the effort I'm spending on writing this review.
Crush du Jour Rating: Johnny says, "Why's all the fun gone?" (Translation: "An overstuffed sellout movie. D.")