Written by: Kristen Lopez, Editor in Chief
We here at CC2K enjoy reviewing and discussing movies from our past and present, but like any great visionaries, we strive for more. So we’ve gone the extra mile, defied all the critics who said, “It can’t be done!” and did it. We built a time machine. It sounds incredible, but it’s true. And the reason for all the time, money, and lab rats sacrificed in the name of science? So we can send writers into the future to review movies BEFORE they’re released! In this way, you can get first-hand insight, on what the blockbusters are going to be like, even before anyone has seen them. Later on, when the future has become the present, we will review these movies again, to see how accurate our time traveler has been.
In this piece, our brave pioneer travels into the uncharted waters of May 2007, to attend an opening weekend performance of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
As a hard core fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, the long wait for the, supposed, final installment is over. After attending the midnight showing for last summer’s sequel, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest I was more than prepared for what to expect. It was wonderful waiting in a color and lively line filled with violinists and people dressed up like Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner. Some fans even made their own characters complete with costumes and backstory. After a very lengthy wait in line the audience was finally allowed in to….wait some more. Finally at a minute to midnight the beauty of Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End was revealed.
So at this point where are we in the Pirates saga? Well the second film ended with our beloved Captain Jack meeting a watery end at the tentacles of the Kraken, Will questioning Elizabeth’s fidelity, and Lord Beckett and Commodore Norrington joining forces to wipe out the pirate way of life. This time around Captain Barbossa, back from the dead joins forces with Will, Elizabeth, Mr. Gibbs, Pintel, Ragetti, and Tia Dalma to fetch back “witty Jack” from the ends of the land of the dead. After making a deal to bring him back the band of pirates move to join all the pirates clans together, even traveling to Singapore, yes “clearly [we’re going] to Singapore.” Meanwhile Beckett and Norrington are out to use the Flying Dutchman to wipe out the entire pirate world.
Some said the second film tended to lose its way in not really knowing which character to stick with, let me tell you Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End definitely knows where to take our characters and what to do with them. The story is once again top-notch; the writing by Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio is in the classic Pirates style, full of wit and sarcasm. If you thought Captain Jack’s lines in the first and second films were memorable, believe me there are lines in here that could go into film history. At about two and a half hours the film also never really slows down, keeping you on the edge of your seat the entire time. The special effects also seem to rival the second film. Seeing things like the literal “edge” of the world, along with Davy Jones’ crew are breathtaking to watch and it still astounds me how amazing Davy Jones is in terms of special effects. When they visit the Land of the Death get Jack the detail and how Jack is being “preserved” were amazing. Also a duel in the rafters of the Flying Dutchman between Jack and Davy Jones is breathtaking; you really can’t believe you’re seeing what you’re seeing.
The cast of characters is still going strong after three films and still seem to be having fun in their roles. Once again Captain Jack Sparrow returns as brilliantly played by Johnny Depp. Between this and the upcoming Sweeney Todd I am so excited to see Depp back on the screen. Captain Jack still has his witty banter with various cast members and even has a memorable, and somewhat touching encounter with his father, yes finally, played by real life inspiration Keith Richards. While Richards has a very small cameo in the film it is definitely nice to see a moment between Depp and his inspiration for Captain Jack. Orlando Bloom makes a return to the films after having a somewhat lackluster role in the second film. Will Turner is still the heroic swashbuckler from the first film, and his decisions in this one finally wrap up who his character is as a person. It was nice to see the whole “inner turmoil” Will goes through, even question whether to join the pirate life forever, and worry about if he really is condemned to sail with the Dutchman forever. Keira Knightely is still hilarious as Elizabeth Swann, playing off of Depp well. Jack and Elizabeth still have the sexual tension and the chemistry between them definitely shows. I did see where the film was headed in terms of how their relationship was going to go but it was nice to still see that chemistry. Sadly, if there are anymore sequels Knightley has already said she probably won’t return. And Geoffrey Rush is back as the villainous Barbossa, although this time he’s working with Captain Jack, there are some truly hilarious moments between them and lines of dialogue you’ll definitely be shouting. Rush really made Barbossa the character you love to hate and you’re still questioning his loyalty, much as you do with Jack, for a lot of the film.
The supporting cast also is brilliant in their roles. Bill Nigh is still in top form as Davy Jones, his sword fight on his ships rafters with Jack are nothing short of spectacular. You also learn more about Davy Jones, the man before he became the monster. The backstory involving the love of his life and the pain and ridicule he’s endured, is told amazing well and it’s quite engaging. Pintel and Ragetti, our pirate buffoons who have followed the franchise return with more hilarious banter and it was satisfying and hilarious to find out that Ragetti does eventually get his eye, yes a real one. Tom Hollander and Jack Davenport as perfect as Lord Cutler Beckett and Commodore Norrington, I thought they were vastly underused in the second film but rally and our the perfect villains for the third film. A final showdown between Beckett and Jack, with Will included is amazing to watch, the banter between all three of them really rivals the fight between our two heroes and Norrington from the second film.
Overall, you can expect more fun times on the high seas with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and if Disney has its way don’t expect this to be the last film in the franchise. Rumors say a fourth, fifth and possibly sixth film might be in the making, although probably not for another two-four years. Be sure to catch the next adventure in this saga, to find more good times with a great story and a great cast of characters. Also stay tuned to the end, after the credits, for a great conclusion involving the money named Jack; it was definitely the capper to the film. And just remember to bring your rum because you wouldn’t want Captain Jack to ask you “Why is the rum gone?”
Author: Kristen Lopez, Editor in Chief
Kristen Lopez is the editor-in-chief of CC2K and a freelance pop culture essayist. Her work has appeared on Roger Ebert, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Daily Beast. When she’s not burning down Film Twitter she runs two podcasts, the female-centric film show Citizen Dame, and the classic film-themed Ticklish Business.