Film Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

by Nate Taylor

Imagine, if you will, a sequel to Ferris Bueller's Day Off (let's call it his Next Day Off) which portrays the title character as a brooding has-been with a bitter home life and a job which constantly forces him to compromise his ideals and swallow his pride just to bring home the paycheck. Sound like a good ride? Well, that's roughly what Pirates of the Caribbean has come to. At World's End is all of your favorite characters shoved into a dark and dismal situation where even good friends are treated as cutthroats, and the majority of character interactions are even darker than the plot. Jokes? Sure there are a few, but their glimmers are brief in the murky waters of this film.

The funniest thing in the entire movie was the twelve-year-old girl sitting next to me who would cover her eyes with her arm whenever two people kissed. She's going to have an interesting adulthood.

The third Pirates of the Caribbean is not a bad movie. It's a good pirate movie, in fact, but it completely breaks from the fun-loving traditions of the first movie. Even the second movie feels like a Saturday morning cartoon compared to this one. I personally got more giggles from Fight Club. One friend of mine suggested that Hollywood is trying to be "indie" with bittersweet endings, and I understand that Hollywood is frustrated that people are becoming so very tired with their contrived conventions and predictable patterns, but making fun movies dark is not the answer.

At World's End feels more like Matrix Revolutions than anything else. In fact, what is with trilogies these days? Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third and now Pirates have all been let-downs. Add those to Star Wars Episode III and the aforementioned Matrix finale, and I'm left to conclude that no one remembers how to write good finishes anymore!

So my conclusion is that it's a good movie, but you shouldn't go to see it expecting an action-filled romp through the seven seas. It's grim.

And here are my answers:
Repeat viewings? Only if I don't watch the original Pirates (thus raising my expectations) between now and then.
Bring a date? There's some unnecessary gore, and the romance is a little paltry so you may want to go with your guy friends.