POTC: At World's End

71619-large.jpgI think I could simply "copy" and "paste" my Spider-Man 3 review into here and just change the title of the film, as the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie makes exactly the same mistakes as it's webbed competitor. Director Gore Verbinski has decided to do everything bigger than the previous two movies and the final part of this "overblown" trilogy is not the better for it. Bigger plots, more characters and more exposition are what has been used to cover up an non-existent story. Lots of plot does not necessarily mean lots of story. We are bombarded with the most complicated Disney adventure narrative I think I've ever seen. How any poor kid can keep up with this is beyond me, I was struggling to remember who was a good guy and who was a bad guy in the midst of the hundred character twists the film goes through. What Verbinski has done is he has decided to give each and every one of his dozens characters a different agenda in the film, so they are all pursuing their own goals with their own motivations and it's so hard to keep track of who is going after what and why. So the film ends up being about 127 minutes of plot before a huge fight scene at the end which goes on, and on and on and on until it reaches it's climatic moment, but by then you couldn't really care less and you had probably forgotten why they were all fighting in the first place. The length does make the film feel very epic but then again, so did Jason and the Argonauts and that clocked in at 104 minutes and was far more interesting than this movie. I liked everything that involved Bill Nighy's character Davey Jones but sadly he was dismissed for much of the film. He is everything as good as what Geoffrey Rush was in the first Pirates movie. A character with a purpose, full of soul and he's evil as hell but you can't help but feel his pain of lost love. Indeed, my favourite scenes of the film were his moments when he was either playing that haunted love tune on his piano or when he finally gets to meet with his former lover. Jones is a great character which Nighy plays to perfection... the second movie should have been built solely around him and so should this third movie. Speaking of Rush, my favourite character from the first movie has now become a comedic "granddad" Pirate. He no longer has any reason to sail across the seven seas, he should have been left to dead in the first movie. It's like if they made Darth Vader a good guy at the beginning of Return of the Jedi. No one wants to see someone as villainous as Barbosa as a good guy. And I hate when they bring characters back from the dead, I've always found it rather lame. Chow-Yun Fat is pointless, you think by the posters that he is going to be a big character in this thing... well he's not. As are the United Nations of Pirates (or whatever they are) and those pirate politics scenes really dragged for me. And when it came to the moment of fighting, did they actually do anything? Nope. Was the Keith Richards cameo anything more than self-indulgence? Nope. The worst crime this film commits is making me lose all passion in the franchise. I just have nothing to write about, it's made me bored silly of the characters and the world they inhabit. This is a bad film which just like Spider-Man 3 has fooled a lot of people into thinking it was good because of the special effects and action sequences. The question that comes out of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End isn't "Where has the rum gone?". It's more like "Where's the worst pirate I've ever seen Jack Sparrow, where's the feisty Elizabeth Swan, where's the tragic Captain Barbosa who just so desperately wants to feel something again?" They weren't in the movie I saw. Instead replaced by cardboard cut-outs and watered down imitations of their former selves.


Pirates of the Caribbean 3 is too complicated, too convoluted and severely uninteresting, resulting in a slightly amusing but hollow special-effects yarn. Some of the action scenes are nice but it's a shame that I stopped caring about the fate of the characters early on in the film. The movie can be as pretty as it likes but if it fails to draw you in... then the film fails as well.

Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.