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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (SE)
DVD disk
12.04.2007 By: Quigles
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (SE) order
Director:
Gore Verbinski

Actors:
Johnny Depp
Geoffrey Rush
Orlando Bloom

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After rescuing Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones' locker, Barbossa, Elizabeth, and Will attempt to work together while advancing toward their own separate goals, most of which involve some mix of betrayal, threatening of lives, and pirate ship battles.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
What made the first PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN work so well was that it didn't try to be anything other than what it was: a fun swashbuckling adventure. They didn't just throw endless subplots and characters into the mix, expecting you to care about all of them without ever being given good reason to do so. But now two films later, that expectation is clearly evident, with two hours of constant jabbering about the "9 pieces of 8," "Calypso," "Davy Jones' locker," and the "Pirate Lords" before getting to any sort of real resolution—none of which is all that satisfying, or even remotely deserving of its accumulated 5 hour running time (including both sequels, that is). A lot of it doesn't even feel necessary or pertinent to what's happening onscreen, other than to pad out the running time considerably and make the story at hand seem more complex than it actually is.

Realize, this is on top of the already overlong cliffhanger sequel DEAD MAN'S CHEST, which itself ended without any closure to a single freakin' plot point. The big difference here though, is that at least that film contained a similar vibe to THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, boasting continuous creative action sequences and an overall feeling of—and this is the key here—FUN.

AT WORLD'S END plays itself the most straight of the three, with the sparse moments of humor feeling thrown in half the time, and just plain unfunny on the whole. Suffering a similar fate to the second film, all of the clever dialogue that made Johnny Depp so damn hilarious in the BLACK PEARL has once again been reduced to uninspired rambling. Here it's actually been kicked up a notch (or would that be down?), featuring several sequences with Depp acting like an outright loon in hopes for a laugh. And yet, his performance is still one of the highlights of the movie. Hats off to him; not many actors are capable of taking "nothing" and making it work.

For evidence of the above statement, look no further than Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, hands down the two most annoying components of this film. Their methods of acting include Bloom staring into the distance with his "dreamy" eyes and slightly contorting his facial expression to express upset, and Knightley pursing her lips constantly and talking through her teeth. Any time they shared screentime together, I was about ready to punch myself in the head. This feeling was amplified even further whenever Knightley went into "tough girl" mode. Ugh.

With all this negativity, you may be wondering why the 2 and a half stars? Well, as many things as I have to complain about, I have to admit the film's ambition to strive for all things "epic" occasionally got the best of me, notably during the massive final battle sequence. Also, despite the meandering nature of the story, the sensational visuals and the (in some respects) outstanding filmmaking—as well of course the wonderfully entertaining performances from Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush—help to keep the picture from ever becoming outright boring. It's mostly just tedious, and a disappointing payoff considering the decidedly more entertaining movies that came before it. There's some cool stuff to check out in AT WORLD'S END, but it can be a chore waiting for it.
THE EXTRAS
There are two versions of the DVD for AT WORLD'S END: a barebones release and a "2-Disc Limited Edition." I reviewed the double disc edition, and it's all-out loaded with extras. The only thing missing is a commentary track, which is fine since DEAD MAN'S CHEST had one, and after 2 and a half hours, I doubt there's much more left to say.

DISC 1

Bloopers of the Caribbean (5:10): Your standard set of amusing (sometimes hilarious) line flubs and mess ups.

There are also a number of Previews.

DISC 2

Keith & the Captain: On Set With Johnny And The Rock Legend (4:41): A featurette focusing on Keith Richard's involvement in the film, and how he was the primary influence on Johnny Depp's performance as Jack Sparrow.

Anatomy of a Scene: The Maelstrom (19:31): This featurette focuses on the big action set piece near the end of the film, filled with interviews and lots of technical information.

The Tale Of The Many Jacks (4:48): A look at how the scene with multiple versions of Jack Sparrow was created.

Deleted Scenes (2:19): There are two scenes here, both with optional commentary from director Gore Verbinski.

The World of Chow Yun Fat (4:14): A short and not-so-in-depth look at Chow Yun Fat and his career, with interviews from the cast and crew (as well of course, Chow Yun Fat himself).

The Pirate Maestro: The Music of Hans Zimmer (10:31): A look at the film's music, composed by Hans Zimmer.

Masters of Design (25:51): Separated into five sections, these brief featurettes give an inside look at the work done by the design team (with each one focusing on something different, like Sao Feng's Map and Captain Teague's Costume).

Hoist the Colors (4:41): Another featurette about the film's music, this one specifically focusing on the song used in the opening scene.

Inside the Brethren Court: An interactive extra that lets you find out all there is to know about 8 of the Pirate Lords.

Miscellaneous: There's also a handy fold-out booklet that offers information on the special features, and answers to questions that moviegoers had about the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Like so many sequels, AT WORLD'S END continues what DEAD MAN'S CHEST started by taking the first film and then upping the ante in as many ways as possible. It's bigger, louder, and longer. It's not, however, nearly as good, and goes a long way to proving a lesson that Hollywood producers still can't seem to grasp: just because you throw more money at it, that doesn't make it better.
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