[[image:awe00.jpg:Jack Sparrow vs Davy Jones:center:0]]
Spoilers ahoy! Cast away your eyes if you haven’t seen Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End.
Based on the reviews I’ve read thus far, this movie is something that you either enjoy or you don’t.
Do you like adventures and treachery in the high seas? Do you like pirates of the olden days of sailing ships? Do you like boardings and broadsides? Do you like tall tales of swordfights, sorcery and magic of the ocean? Davy Jones’ Locker? Pieces of eights? Shrunken heads? Parrots? Monkeys? Cannons? Monkeys shot out of cannons?
[[image:awe01.jpg:Leaving Singapore for World’s End:left:0]]Well, if you like all of the above, human nature being human nature, you might still not like the movie. But I enjoyed it!
At the end of the last movie, Captain Jack Sparrow and his ship the Black Pearl, was consumed Davey Jones’ pet squid the Kraken. The witch Tia Dalma informs his crew that they have to sail to World’s End where they can enter Davy Jones’ Locker and rescue Jack. First they have to get the chart from Sao Feng the Singapore-based pirate who detests Jack. Then of course they have to evade the forces of the East India Company led by Lord Cutler Beckett who has Davy Jones in his thrall because Commodore Norrington’s delivery of Jones’ heart to him.
And not least of their problems is the back stabbing because of personal quests, which does get pretty confusing. But I think in the end, you don’t really have to catalogue who does what because ultimately the betrayals do their job in the movie, which is to advance the story.
[[image:awe02.jpg:Best movie wedding ever:right:0]]Jack’s story arc isn’t the forefront of the movie. He gets rescued and tries finds his way to Shipwreck Cove where the Pirate Lords from the Four Corners of the World convene to stop the advance of Lord Beckett’s forces. The Pirate Lords themselves are a bunch of colorful, interesting and humourous. They come from the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Adriatic, the Black and the Indian Oceans.
Jack is the Pirate Lord of the Caribbean and Barbossa, the Caspian.
But the best of them is the Keeper of the Code whom all the Pirate Lords fear and respect, Captain Teague played by Rollings Stones guitarist Keith Richards… who, although unspoken, is heavily hinted to be Jack’s father.
Some spoilery random thoughts:
Interesting to know that Jack’s personal hell in the Locker is a vast white desert.
The music is the best of the trilogy. The new themes written by Hans Zimmer for this movie, when played with themes from the preceding movies, gets the swashbuckling emotion of it all perfectly.
There isn’t enough Chow Yun Fat in pirate action. There should have been at least one scene with Sao Feng commanding the Empress in battle.
[[image:awe03.jpg::left:0]]I understand the need to have the Kraken put down at the beginning of the story, lest Beckett having a powerful, rogue, supernatural beast roaming the seas uncontrolled. But it would have been fun to see the kraken show up in the final battle under the command of the Flying Dutchman‘s new captain in the end, giving the EIC fleet a beating.
The Jailhouse Dog, we discover, is much more important than we originally think. Apparently it gets off the Pelegostos’ island from Dead Man’s Chest.
In the topic of things being more important than originally thought is Tia Dalma. “Same story, different version, and all are true” indeed. But the coming of Calypso was the weakest part of the story. What exactly does she do? Just conjure a storm and the maelstrom? And what happens now that Calypso is released? Nothing is revealed of this.
At first the story arcs of Elizabeth and Will got a bit tedious, but ultimately it appears that they had to go through all the tedium to build up their characters into their eventual roles as the Pirate Lord of the South China Sea and the new captain of the Flying Dutchman, cursed to ferry dead souls from the sea to the world beyond.
All this leads to the best ever broadside battle in a gigantic whilrpool during a story with a swordfight and wedding in middle.
But we didn’t get to see the fleet battle between the East India Company and the combined pirate fleet. That sucked.
[[image:awe04.jpg::right:0]]Jack ends up exactly in the same spot where we first see him in Curse of the Black Pearl, but as usual he takes it all in stride and casts off for a new adventure to search for the agua de vida.
However the movie ends with a happy scene after the end credits (make sure you don’t drink too much) where the Flying Dutchman returns after 10 years, where the green flash at sunrise heralds Will’s return to Elizabeth from the land of the dead.
Much better pacing than Spider-Man 3. There’s not much time to stop and take five, everything moves at breakneck speed. Where it slows down, there is wonder and / or suspense. Comedy too is present by the truckloads. And I’ve already mentioned the wedding. And the music is fantastic and spot on. Stop yer complainin’ me hearties. I did say this here will be a spoiler-filled review. Yarrrr.