Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

There’s a problem that comes with filming two films back to back. The problem comes from the second of the two films. The first film can easily be bad, and if that is the case, chances are these mistakes are not going to be fixed in the sequel. The film will already have been shot, so the only hope of the issues being fixed is in the editing of the already shot footage. In the case of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, it doesn’t even seem like the problems present in Dead Man’s Chest were even attempted to be rectified.

In the, at the time, final installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, we continue from the storyline of Dead Man’s Chest. Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) is back and must lead William Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and the rest of the crew from the previous two movies into Davy Jones’ locker to bring Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) back to the face of the Earth. After the rescue, the crew must get together the pirate lords of the Brethren Court in order to defeat Lord Beckett (Tom Hollander), and Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), who is now sailing under Beckett’s command.

One of the main problems that Dead Man’s Chest had was that the story was unfocused and that many of the characters had no room for development. This is even truer in At World’s End. There are even more characters to deal with this time around, as each of the pirate lords needs to get a decent amount of screen time. They are interesting, but we don’t get to know anything about them, save for the country they originate from. The main cast doesn’t get further development from the previous films, and more or less just continue on with whatever motivations they had in the previous installment. This is especially true with Swann and Turner, as their desires and ambitions were all laid out in the last film; now they just have to follow through with them.

That’s really what At World’s End is. It is a continuation of Dead Man’s Chest, and only serves to finish the story that was started previously. Yes, this is something it should do, because leaving a story unfinished would be an incredible letdown, but it would also be nice to have some entertainment to go along with this conclusion. This is something that the third Pirates movie does not have a lot of.

At World’s End is the low-point in the Pirates of the Caribbean series thus far.

The first two films were, if nothing else, entertaining. The first film was humorous, action-packed and fresh. It stays that way on multiple viewings. The second film, while not as funny, still boasted great action sequences. At World’s End doesn’t really have either of those. It still does have large-scale action scenes, but they aren’t as exciting as ones in the previous entries. They’re bigger, but on the whole less memorable. The most memorable scenes from the first two movies were arguably the one-on-one, well-choreographed sword fights. They were plentiful, and the most exciting parts. In this film, there is one big sword fight scene, and it only occurs right at the end, meaning there isn’t much leading up to it.

Also gone from the previous films is the humor. There aren’t all that many times where you’ll be laughing. This film is more serious in nature than the rest, and the times where it does try to be funny, you can tell that it is trying too hard. The jokes come off as forced, and make you wonder how much longer the film is going to go on for. That’s another problem with the film. It, like Dead Man’s Chest, is too long. The story is complex enough that it could fill its runtime, but it isn’t engaging enough to keep you interested.

If there is one positive to be had, it’s that the score of the film hasn’t changed all that much from the first two films. It is still nice to listen to, and while there are a number of tracks that are taken from previous installments, they still fit the mood of the film nicely. The composers of the soundtrack need to be commended for creating the sole high point of the otherwise lackluster final part of the trilogy.

At World’s End seemed to be the dividing point of the series for its fans. It brought an unnecessary backstory to a film that didn’t need any more complexity to the story. It also managed to get stale with its attempted humor, as well as having some scenes that were more boring than the previous installments in the series. At World’s End is the low-point in the Pirates of the Caribbean series thus far. There isn’t much freshness left, so it will be a surprise if the fourth film ends up being any better. Although, the series has had some time off, so unlike this film, maybe the next one will fix the numerous problems.

Conclusion: The Pirates of the Caribbean is beginning to wear thin with its third installment.

Recommendation: Only see At World’s End if you sat through Dead Man’s Chest and want to see it reach its conclusion.

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