A film review by Chris Barsanti – Copyright 2007 filmcritic.com
An honest-to-God, brawling, hooting, big ball of popcorn spectacle of a movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End fully embraces its ludicrous sense of summer season overkill without succumbing to the bloated tedium that afflicted its disappointing predecessor Dead Man’s Chest. Clocking in at just under three hours, it’s definitely longer than necessary, but given the number of unresolved plot strands that the last film left strewn about like so much tangled rigging, it’s actually amazing the filmmakers are able to tie everything up quite as nicely as they do.
Starting with its unlikely origin as an amusement park ride, the Pirates series quickly mushroomed into a sort of meta-pirate film, a vast and whirligig universe unto itself that drew in every possible nautical cliche and legend possible. Thus the first film concentrated on yo-ho-ho-ing, rum-drinking, and general pirate-y scalawaggery. The second roped in Davy Jones and The Flying Dutchman — not to mention an excess of secondary characters and familial drama. For the third (but not necessarily last, given the teaser it ends with) entry, the bursting-at-the-seams script tosses in a raging maelstrom, an actual trip to Davy Jones’ Locker, and even the sea goddess Calypso. Dead Man’s Chest showed that more is not always better, with excess just leading to more excess and a general sense of lethargy — they were just setting us up for the conclusion and marking time until then. At World’s End, however, shows that Hollywood excess, when combined with the right combination of actors and an occasionally smart script, can work out quite nicely, thank you very much.
You can read the entire review at FilmCritic.com.