Science fiction and fantasy
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
directed by Gore Verbinski
Jack Sparrow isn't one to let the minor matter of his demise get him down. He's too busy fighting
with himself over peanuts and being stalked by pebbles. At the end of Dead Man's Chest it
looked as though it was all over for the roguish pirate, but in fact he is imprisoned between life and
death in Davy Jones' Locker.
Jack's friends set out to rescue him, although they all have different reasons for wanting him back. Will
Turner wants to save his father, who still languishes as one of the crew of the Flying Dutchman.
Barbossa wants a certain token that Jack is carrying, whilst Elizabeth Swann is feeling guilty
about her part in his predicament.
The East India Company are intent on ruling the seas and ridding them of piracy, no matter what
the cost. Lord Cutler Beckett has set about executing the guilty and innocent alike in order to flush
out the pirates. So a meeting of the nine pirate lords is called, in the hope that they can turn the
tide on the English and save themselves from extinction. If they can resist the temptation to kill
each other first, they may just succeed.
On the Flying Dutchman, Will's father is slowly losing all his humanity, becoming a part of the ship
and forgetting who he once was. Davy Jones is supposed to ferry the souls of the dead of the sea
to their final resting place, but he isn't doing his job. Instead he is bound to the East India Company,
and Lord Beckett, who treats the octopus-faced monster as though he is just another lackey.
There is also the question of Calypso, a pagan sea deity who was imprisoned in human form in
order to calm the seas. Releasing her will make the seas as wild and unpredictable as they once
were, but there's no guarantee that she won't wreak revenge on her former captors and kill them
At World's End is an all-action blockbuster of a movie, full of sword fights, swashbuckling,
fantastic creatures, and a good measure of explosive destruction. The pace is never allowed to
slacken. Although it's quite a long film the plot is intricate enough to sustain this. It's often hard to
figure out who is double-crossing who and what they're planning. And although at times
Jack Sparrow seems barely capable of planning even five minutes into the future he clearly has
his fair share of cunning. In this film he's crazier and more addled than ever, and even more
funny to watch as a result. Keith Richards, that daddy of all party animals, makes an appearance as
Jack's father, just to drive home the point about his excessive nature.
At World's End has plenty of funny lines, as well as a few eye-popping scenes of gross-out
and slapstick humour. Watch out for Jack dropping his own brain on the floor. This is a movie
that's all about fun, and one which doesn't take itself too seriously or have pretensions to any
kind of depth.
Throughout the trilogy Elizabeth Swann has never had any shortage of suitors, and the romantic
aspect of this story comes to the fore towards the end of this film. This dimension means that this
is a movie with something for all the family, and it rounds off what will probably be one of the
most crowd-pleasing movies of 2007. It's populist, light, and highly entertaining.
If you like this, try:
Stardust by Matthew Vaughn
Life is hard for a star: there's no privacy, you get hounded wherever you go, your heart cut out and eaten...
Review © Ros Jackson