May 25, 2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence and some frightening images
In the biggest movie May ever, another blockbuster sets sail for box office gold.
As the third installment of the "Pirates Of The Caribbean" series begins, these are dark times for swashbucklers.
The East India Trading Company is in relentless pursuit, dealing out harsh and final punishment. The hangman's noose tightens around the necks of men, women and children.
And in perhaps the cruelest twist of all, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is gone, eaten by the mythical Kraken.
But Sparrow's compatriots refuse to give up on him. Fueled by their own agendas...Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) travel to the Far East in preparation for a journey to Davy Jones' locker. There they confront Captain Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat) who doesn't trust his fellow pirates. But the trio needs charts in Sao Feng's possession for the voyage to save Sparrow. Following an intitial confrontration, the East India Trading Company attacks forcing the pirates to form an uneasy alliance.
After battling in Singapore and escaping with their lives, our heroes embark on a grueling and perilous journey to the afterlife. They eventually find Captain Jack and manage to bring him back to the land of the living.
But their troubles are far from over. Controlled by the Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) is wreaking havoc on the high seas, destroying pirates and their ships. To stop him, the nine Pirate Lords convene to come up with a plan for an epic and final battle.
There is a whole lot going on in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." Has Sparrow been brought back from the dead only to face the hangman's noose? Or Will Davy Jones exact his cruel revenge? Are Will and Elizabeth destined to live happily ever after? Or will Lord Beckett manage to destroy the pirate way of life once and for all? For three dizzying hours those questions and more are asked and answered. The plot is very dense with devious plans and double crosses taking place at every turn. The special effects are fantastic and the action blows you away. Of the three big third chapters out in May, "Pirates Of The Caribbean" is easily the best. It's much more satisfying and entertaining than "Spider-Man 3" and "Shrek The Third"...and both of those are pretty good movies.
Once again, Depp is the glue which holds this puzzle together. His Jack Sparrow is absolutely nuts but that is what makes him such a great pirate. We get fun cameos, including one from Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards (Captain Teague) and strong performances from the entire cast, with Rush's among the best.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" is long and complicated...and a bit darker than its two predecessors.
But it's a great film that delivers thrills and fun on many levels.
On my rating scale, "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" hits a Home Run.
Finally, make sure you sit through the final credits. There is a secret scene at the end of the film which ties up one of the plot threads very nicely. You'll be glad you stayed.
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