Friday, June 01, 2007


RUNTIME: 168 min.
RATING: *****

Finally the movie to warm up the summer has arrived. I had almost resigned myself to Jason Bourne after SPIDERMAN 3 and SHREK THE THIRD but how in the wide world could Captain Jack Sparrow disappoint. Especially when he has the company of his former mate Barbossa. Not to forget a host of other pirates and what we have here is truly the best time I have had at the movies this year.
For a summer blockbuster AT WORLD’S END is the rarest of the rare breed; it has a plot. Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio are real geniuses; how could they make such a fantastic story line that spanned cross three movies from a thing as trivial as a theme ride. AT WORLD’S END is even more complex than its predecessors and at times gets a bit difficult to follow with almost every character having a subplot. Nevertheless the movie never feels its running time and is arguably the best of the trilogy.
Elizabeth Swann, Barbossa and Will Turner go to Singapore to seek the help of Pirate captain Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat) to rescue Captain Jack Sparrow and his Black Pearl from Davy Jones’ locker. That is not the ultimate aim; Jack Sparrow is to be summoned for the Nine lords of the Brethren are to meet at the court to discuss the threat looming large on the pirate fraternity. Lord Beckett has control over Davy Jones’ heart and thus is using him and The Flying Dutchman to get rid of the pirates one by one. The nine lords and the Naval forces re to square off for what would be the epic battle for the survival of the pirates.
I cannot remember a movie franchisee that has been as successful as this one in creating its own world with its own set of interesting characters and entertained us as beautifully as this. I guess the STAR WARS would be one. Fully fleshed characters with almost everyone being unforgettable is something that is one of the toughest thing to do in movies, especially when it is a summer blockbuster riding high on money. PIRATES here sure does fit the bill. And that too not from a book but a theme ride. God I’m amazed.
As for Jack Sparrow, AT WORLD’S END is more in tune with CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL in that Sparrow has relatively less time. He sure does have the Jack’s share of one-liners but AT WORLD’S END is more about the eventuality of the pirate world. For one, the romantic triangle between Jack, Elizabeth and William that made DEAD MAN’S CHEST all the more delicious to savor has been all but done away with and understandably so, considering the weight of the narrative. With it goes the gorgeous chemistry between Swann and Jack that was so hot. But they exchange a line right at the end, which is one of the moments to look forward to. Many fans of the original complained with all the monsters taking screen time in DEAD MAN’S CHEST. Well the Kraken is out and Beckett is more than what they were looking for. It is all about pirates and much, much more.
The character that will stay with me, apart from Jack, has to be that of Elizabeth. Who could have wondered that such a fantastic female character could be borne out of a pirate movie? She is something straight out of a noir-ish tale and is so breathtakingly charming. It sure has to do as much with the characterization as with Knightley’s performance. She for me is the character of PIRATES after Captain Jack.
What can I say about Johnny Depp and the most wonderful character he has created? Needless to say, this again is a performance right out of the top drawer. How many actors can claim to keep a character consistently funny? Peter Sellers for one, and Depp here is right in that league. He has created what is the most amazing character of our generation; Captain Jack and his quirky mannerisms is just the exterior. But hidden beneath is an amazing pirate who is as mysterious as the depths of the deepest seas. There have been many one-liners from him but the one that so beautifully encapsulates him is uttered by Beckett’s man in AT WORLD’S END – “Does he have it planned all along or does he just make it up as he goes along?” Well, former or latter one thing’s for certain, Captain Jack for me will remain right alongside Harry Callaghan from DIRTY HARRY, The man with no name from the dollar trilogy and T-101 from TERMINATOR 2: THE JUDGMENT day as my favorite movie characters of all time. And yeah, watch out for someone in the movie quite similar to Captain Jack. You are in for a very, very pleasant surprise as I was too.
Geoffrey Rush is an absolute delight. Next to Depp, he has the maximum one-liners. The chemistry between him and Depp, although not as sparkling as CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, is fantastic.
Orlando Bloom is the surprise package here. Maybe it is treatment meted out to the character, but he is no longer the weak link in the chain as he was in the other two.
Chow Yun-Fat, the only prominent new face quite elegantly mixes into the thick of things and it is not long before he is part of the PIRATE folklore.
AT WORLD’S END is a fantastic achievement as far as summer movies are concerned. In fact, the three movies are arguably the best adventure movies ever. Never have the high seas been more entertaining. I have never seen Errol Flynn’s pirate movies during that golden age of the sub-genre but I’m sure there could be none more entertaining than this here. For sheer entertainment, this franchisee is your one stop. There have been very few times when I have been entertained as much as I have been on the course of these three movies.
Gore Verbinski has done what Coppola couldn’t and that is making a third installment worthy of its predecessors. In fact, all the three movies are worthy of each other. Kudos to him and the screenwriters to go for the hard way out at the end where others would have followed the trodden path. Verbinski, along with Peter Jackson are the competitors as the heir to Spielberg’s throne of summer entertainment.
People might complain that the movie is too plot-heavy. Well, I for one like my dish dense and it is amazing that a film that has $300 million riding in production costs alone doesn’t go for the easy and stupid way out by rehashing all that the previous two installments had to offer, some thing what SPIDERMAN 3 and SHREK THE THIRD were found guilty of. AT WORLD’S END sure does have what the other two has but it is something of its own.
Watch AT WORLD’S END; it will give you everything you hope to get from a PIRATES movie, hell it will give you everything that can be given in a summer blockbuster. Every one you have come to love in these movies has been given time and a befitting ending. But sit through the end credits, will you, for Captain Jack might be back. And I hope he’s back. Savvy?


Anonymous said...

5 stars? I was quite bored at times….. you liked the part when Jack was having hallucinations in the Locker??!!! Apart from those few minutes, the movie’s great… but 5 stars?

Shomit Das

Anonymous said...

Beautiful movie. People say it was too long, I thought it was too short.
My only problem with the trilogy is that they have not shown Davy Jones to be as powerful as they have hyped him to be. He seems a little too human for my liking.
Otherwise, It is an amazing piece of writing, direction, great background score and amazing action by all but Orlando Bloom – who I don’t think too much of.

Gaurav Parab