Pirate Sparrow, Stoned and Bloated
If you took "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" and it's prequel "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and cut out about 3 and a half hours you would end up with one very good movie, a sequel to "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" which would be it's equal if not better. Sadly you can't and so when it comes to the sequels you have two overly long movies which seem to stretch out a storyline with plot twists and padding to make them in to two movies which link together. The sad thing is that with "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" you end up with a movie which for the first 2 hours goes around and around in circles not really going anywhere before finally gaining focus for roughly the final hour and delivering the entertainment and excitement which is lacking for the first two thirds. I am sure those who just enjoy watching a movie for visual entertainment will enjoy it with what amount to a lot of set pieces but for me "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" ends up bloated and sadly boring.
Having been taken to Davy Jones' Locker, Elizabeth, Will, and Captain Barbossa set about rescuing Captain Jack Sparrow so that they can take on their enemies Davy Jones and Lord Cutler Beckett who have formed an alliance to wipe out all of the pirates. In order to stop them Jack, Barbossa, Will and Elizabeth must call upon the Pirate Lords to release the goddess Calypso, Davy Jones's damned lover, to stop him and Beckett from succeeding.
Basically "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" is a continuation to "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" which ended up with the loveable rogue Jack Sparrow being taken by the Kraken and sent to Davy Jones' Locker. So what we get is an extended rescue of Jack Sparrow as Will, Elizabeth and Barbossa venture to the other side with the aid of other pirates to try and bring him back. It does allow for one of the movies funniest scenes as Jack Sparrow ends up talking to numerous versions of himself but it is overly long full of set piece scenes which individually drag on. What follows on from their basically brings everything together as the future of piracy is in threat thanks to Lord Cutler and so are band of lovable and not so lovable characters end up doing battle.
The trouble is that it is hard to be enthusiastic about the storyline to "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" for the simple reason that for so much of the movie it spins it's wheels serving up twists and padding to make it seem so much more than it is. Some of the twists work, some of them seem utterly pointless and at times it borders on a movie of set pieces thrown in to make it seem more than it is. And as such it is annoying because cut back the first two hours to the essential and it would have worked so much better. But nope we have excessive sub plots and twists which really add nothing to the overall story.
What's more annoying is that get past the bloated first two hours and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" kicks into gear with what you really want and expect that being action, adventure and a touch of comedy. And whilst I am not one who just wants visual thrills from a movie the brilliant effects laden action which makes up the majority of this final hour is first rate with the great battle in a giant whirlpool being so memorable. It is also ironic that having kicked into gear and focussing on delivering action the actual storyline gets better with plot twists having a point and a focused storyline which doesn't spin it's wheels.
As for the acting well quite simply those familiar characters return and so once more you have Johnny Depp delivering the memorably quirky Captain jack Sparrow and Orlando Bloom as feisty swashbuckling Will Turner. And it goes on because what we have come to expect from the characters and performances are what we get in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End". But part of the fun of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" comes from what in many ways is the weakest performance as having Rolling Stone Keith Richards cast as Captain Teague is just so amusing. Richards may not be the most convincing actor but watching him and Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow is pure gold.
What this all boils down to is that "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" left me less than enthused. It's biggest problem is that it is so bloated and for the first two hours it goes around and around in circles as it plays with plot twists and sub plots but only achieves the feeling of being excessively padded out. And it is a shame as the final hour is on the button with great action, great comedy and a focus on the important storyline rather than the superfluous sub plots.