Posted at 5:53 PM on May 24, 2007
by Euan Kerr
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End" grabs you by your grease-stained lapels and then hauls your sorry pock-marked soul through almost three hours of sea-faring sword-waving silliness.
Image courtesy of Disney
It's a blast. And exhausting. It's definitely the best in the series.
Johnny Depp slurs his way delightfully through Captain Jack Sparrow's adventures, Keira Knightley sets her jaw and slashes away with gusto as Elizabeth Swann, veterans Geoffrey Rush and Bill Nighy bring phlegm and flavor to Barbossa and the octapoidal Davy Jones , Chow Yun-Fat brings steely menace as Chinese pirate Lord Sao Feng, and Orlando Bloom tries to keep up as Will Turner.
At one point one of Sparrows exasperated pursuers blurts out "Do you think he plans it all out or just makes it up as he goes along?" The great thing as an audience member is you never really quite sure.
The special effects are so well done that you don't notice they are special effects, thrusting audiences deep in the action.
As mentioned before Disney has asked that writers keep the plot details quiet so as to avoid spoiling the experience for people who have not yet seen the film.
To be honest it might almost be helpful to have some hints as to what is happening because there are so many characters, each with a sub-plot, that sometimes it's a little confusing as to who is being double-crossed by whom. (The secret is of course that everyone is doing the dirty on everyone else, as they wont to as they are, remember, pirates.)
However it's quite possible to get lost. For example, there is a sword which appears several times in the film. Now I have a vague memory of it from the last film, although nothing clear. It's obviously important for someone or other, but for the life of me I couldn't bring it back. The plot never got hung up on the sword point but it was around then that I began thinking a guidebook might be handy to keep it all straight.
"POTC 3" won't go down as one of the great films in cinema history, but it's a lot of fun, and if it rains as much as is threatened over the Memorial Day weekend, it's going to keep a lot of people happy.
Just remember to go to the bathroom before it starts. (And although the credits last close to 10 minutes, there is a sweet little vignette for those who wait.)