Friday, May 25, 2007

Pirates of the Carribean 3: At World's End

Perhaps the most anticipated movie of the Year arrives in theaters this week.

Question that a good thing or bad thing?

After the massive artistic misfire of Spider-Man 3, and the box office tanking of Grind house, there is a sense that maybe this high profile summer of sequels would also be known as the summer of disappointment.

Thankfully that is not the case.

Summer Movie season officially begins with Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End.

This film wraps up an entertaining three movie arc with excitement and thrills, while bravely throwing in some heart-felt drama and poignancy.

The first thing one will notice is that this film is a lot darker than the previous movies.

Seriously..... I'm surprised the movie isn't Rated R.

The film explores dark and tragic themes.

Death and suffering are sprinkled throughout the entire film.

Which isn't a bad thing.

In some ways it feels a lot like a second act.

To make a comparison....this is the Empire Strikes Back of the series.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's as good as Empire, by any means....not even close...actually forget I brought that up....entirely.

It's just that the tones and subject matter don't feel like the traditional celebratory ending of a movie series.

For example, unlike the end of most trilogies, this movie has a considerable body count.

Characters we've enjoyed in the series meet heart-breaking, and surprising endings.

And yet it all still feels appropriate.

Lots of credit for the film's success has to go to the outstanding ensemble.

Geoffrey Rush is great as the devious Captain Barbosa, while Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom nicely capture the drama and romance at the heart of the trilogy.

But of course the soul of the film belongs to Johnny Depp, who turns in another, in an increasingly long line of entertaining performances in his expanding career.

This time Depp gets the chance to fully tap into Jack Sparrow's madness and quirkiness....if that seems possible.

If that's not enough Keith Richards turns in a surprisingly grounded cameo as Jack Sparrow's intimidating father.

Kudos also has to go to director Gore Verbinski who has found a way to mix some arthouse sensibilities with some breathtaking summer movie action.

The film isn't perfect however.

There's something about the movie that feels contrived, and possibly rushed.

I've read several reviews commenting on the complicated, and confusing story line in the film.

Which is considerable.

I admit at times it becomes very difficult figuring out who is back stabbing who,and what exactly these characters are seemingly planning, or to be honest, what exactly is happening in terms of plot.

The truth is there are huge holes in the script, and obviously important questions that are never resolved or explained.

That could be the cause of my trepidation to proclaim the film great.

But after some thought, I realized that in the end I'm not really bothered by it all.

Honestly these movies don't respond too well to examinations of plot logic and character development.

These are popcorn films that should be enjoyed accordingly.

What the story lacks in logic, it makes up with eye popping special effects, exotic locales and fantastic set pieces.

What more does one need in a pirate film?

The film also features some genuinely funny moments.

Especially with a scene stealing monkey and a boisterous Parrot.

Hey I know it's cheesy.... but who doesn't like animal humor?

In any case the film is a fitting end to a successful trilogy.

Check it out with the rest of the Earth's population this weekend.

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