Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Written by:Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio
Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, Chow Yun Fat, Jack Davenport, Jonathan Pryce
Released: May 24, 2007
Grade: C+

Last week, I was watching bits and pieces from the first Pirates movie, The Curse Of The Black Pearl.  I liked it when I first saw it in 2003 and I still like it now.  Johnny Depp was hilarious and it was great to see Geoffrey Rush as a villain.  It was a fun, swashbuckling adventure that took a different spin on the pirate movie genre (if such a genre exists).

About a third of the way through this film, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End, I knew that my interest in this series had finished.  The “fun” was gone and I was left to endure an overly-complicated story that provided next-to-no laughs for close to three hours.

If you remember of the finale of the second film, Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) was eaten by a monster and taken from the world of the living.  A group of familiar faces, all with differing motives, have set sail for the end of the world in an attempt to rescue him.

Once rescued, Jack and his crew prepare themselves for battle.  The influential Lord Beckett (Hollander) is intent on eliminating every pirate in existence.  He has assembled a huge army and a large fleet of heavily armed boats.  The leading pirates of the world know they must put their differences behind them and unite as one to defeat Lord Beckett.  It’s going to be one hell of a fight.

There is so much betrayal in this film that I couldn’t keep up.  The characters seem to be switching their allegiances every half hour.  This happened to a lesser extent in the first two films but it’s taken too far here.  It’s become too convoluted.

The best part of every film in the series has been Johnny Depp.  He was nominated for an Oscar for Black Pearl and he has transformed Jack Sparrow into one of cinema’s most memorable characters.  He tries hard but I don’t think Depp is as funny in At World’s End.  It’s as if all his best material was used in the earlier movies.  There’s a few laughs but not as many as you might expect.  I also think that the writers have made a mistake in waiting 30 minutes to reintroduce his character here.

I alluded to it earlier but I cannot pass without making specific reference to this film’s length.  It is 168 minutes.  I may not be a high profile filmmaker but surely the film’s story could have been told in a shorter, simpler manner.  When I think of great Hollywood epics, such as Lord Of The Rings and Titanic, it makes me realise how flimsy this plot is in comparison.

Regardless of my criticisms, At World’s End is going to make a LOT of money.  I suspect it will rake in more money than any other film in 2007.  People are going to turn out in droves to see it.  My only advice therefore is to take a pillow.