MATT RAUB: The Pirates 3peat
So here we are, smack-dab in the middle of the unforgiving Summer Blockbuster Land of 2007, we’ve already got 300 Spartans, a few talking turtles, a spider, an ogre, and a whiney Kurt Russell under our collective belts, and we still have so much more to get to. But here we are with the culmination of the summer in Disney’s third installment to their Pirates of the Caribbean franchise entitled World’s End.
Now, going into this film I had pretty high expectations, which I normally don’t, but this film had enough build up in the first two films to get just about anybody excited for an outcome. So with that said, I had a few issues with the movie as a whole, but before we get to that, so as not to ruin tradition, lets break down the film into the specified categories.
Starting off with the best element of the film, the acting, I was more than pleased with the performances of the cast. Geoffrey Rush returns as Captain Barbosa and did an amazing job playing off of Depp’s Captain Jack. His performance is full of creepy glances and pirate lingo which I had completely no idea what it meant, but it still sounded awesome. Knightley was impressive in stark comparison to her role in the first film, this film was meant as the “all grown up” point in her life where she’s no longer the dainty, naïve Governor’s daughter, and has embraced the pirate way of life. Orlando Blooms role, while large in the last 20 minutes of the film, was somewhat lacking in the other 2 hours and 40 minutes. There seemed to be way too many different parties to give enough screen time to each of them. Bill Nighy did an amazing job, of course.
Which brings us to the final member of our massive leading cast, Captain Jack Sparrow. I only had two major problems with this film, we’ll get to number two later, but the biggest one was the unnecessary, force fed comic relief in this film. It isn’t even considered to be comic relief because it consumes 90% of the movie, which just makes the other 10% well needed dramatic relief. I was happy in the first two films where our comedy came mostly from our two would be pirates Pantel and Ragetti, and the occasional wackiness from Depp’s Sparrow, but in this film, Captain Jack ends up going crazy in Davey Jones’ locker, which apparently makes everything, yes everything he says sound like it was written by Larry David. Now normally I’m the first one to complain that a movie is taking itself too seriously, but this became ridiculous after three hours of zany one liners and slapstick visual jokes. I was rooting for the major death at the end of the movie, only because the audience needed a shellshock to help us realize that it wasn’t a Night at the Apollo.
Moving onto the story, I was overall happy, with a few complaints. The first and second films were chockfull of swordfights, whether they were in a giant spinning wheel, or in an abandoned cave. But this film seemed to have so much story that needed to get told, that there was hardly any room for the action. In Dead Man’s Chest we get a total of five major action sequences which had me at the furthest edge of my seat every time, but in this film we are only treated to two swordfights, sandwiched on either end of the movie. The majority of the action is ships blowing apart other ships, which for the most part, isn’t all that exciting. Even when you bring in an element like Chow Yun-Fat an entire legion of Asian pirates, I expect some intense hand-to-hand fight sequences, which we do not get. The closest thing we get is a CG fight between Jack and Davey Jones along the ship’s Mizzen-Mast (yes, it’s pirate lingo).
Finally, my only other complaint about the film is Keith Richards, and not his performance, I thought he actually did a great job, but that was shadowed by the fact that Keith Richards mostly represented Johnny Depp throwing his weight around and getting away with it. Those of you who recall, the only reason Depp agreed to do the two sequels to 2003’s original Pirates was if Disney brought on Richards to play Sparrow’s father. His main reasoning for this was because Depp supposedly based his flamboyant performance of the character off of how Richards acts in real life. Knowing all of this back story only made it that much harder to take Richards seriously, and I regret that. This just shows that instead of casting the Rolling Stones vet in a brilliant move to elude that rock stars are the pirates of our time, it is just a way of appeasing to a whiney prima donna.
Overall, I didn’t hate the flick. I expected a lot more, but I should have expected the Jedi treatment as much as the next movie geek. As usual, the second film of a trilogy goes down as the best, which just begs to ask if directors are doing this on purpose. I wouldn’t be surprised if the film gets green lit into another 3, 6, or 8 movies, only as long as they bring Rip Taylor in as Captain Jack’s gay uncle. I give it a 6/10.
Bridgeport, Connecticut disc jockey and Legion of Who member Matt Raub reviews things regularly for ComicMix.com and for The Big ComicMix Broadcast.