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

The third volume of Disney’s theme park attraction turned tentpole franchise is the next selection in DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies book as I explore the chapter on Myths, Legends and Fairy Tales.

I’ll admit this instalment in the series is a little top heavy with a convoluted plot, but as showcased in the two previous films, has fantastic set pieces and action sequences.

The film features a slew of legends and myths, Pirate Kings, ghosts, monsters, Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), the Flying Dutchman.

Alliances, friendships and love will be tested as Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is rescued (or saves himself) from Davy Jones’ Locker (a kind of spiritual limbo) and he, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), her betrothed Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) unite in one final conflict which may decide the fate of the pirates and their mortal enemy, the British Fleet and the East India Trading Company.

That sounds like a lot, and obviously the filmmakers felt so as well, as it clocks in at a staggering two hours and forty three munutes, but it’s mostly an excuse for tall ships, swashing, buckling, some great gags, some horrible ones, crossing swords, and a bit of a love story.

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There’s no denying the sense of fun these films imbue on the audience, but this one, with its runtime seemed to be asking a lot of its viewers. I mean three films in, one can only take so much more of Jack Sparrow.

But they are insanely fun, the production value is stunning, the visual effects top notch, and the sequences are well-crafted.

All of the actors are wonderfully at ease at their roles, and seem to be enjoying themselves. This seems to be the ultimate in dressup and play; who hasn’t imagined playing pirate?

That being said, they definitely should have left the series after this film. Instead they decided to go back to the well a couple more times, with dimishing returns.

Like I said, you can only take so much Jack Sparrow, no matter how much you like the character.

That being said, I love the level of talent both in front of and behind the camera that Verbinski, who directed all three films, brought to the series. They are fantastic achievments, especially when you remind yourself that this whole franchise was based on a little ride populated with animatronic characters.

The first three films remain a lot of fun, and are always worth a revisit, especially on a wintery day, and maybe it’s time to watch them again. Or you could pick up a copy of DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies and find something legendary (or macabre) to watch tonight!

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