Ahh, the memories of this movie. You see, when this movie came out, it happened to open on Memorial Day Weekend. Now for me, I have always had a party over that weekend, which used to be 3 days of drunken shenanigans but has toned down in recent years. Anyways, when this movie came out, I decided to do a marathon movie session (which I do occasionally when certain movies come out). So that Sunday, myself and several of my friends were watching the first two movies, all while drinking rum, then we headed out to see the latest movie in theaters. Don’t worry, we were responsible and had DD’s to drive us. Of course, afterwards the drunken shenanigans continued and we wound up burning some stuffed animals in my back yard but that is a story for another day. For now, let’s just focus on today’s movie and the end to the trilogy, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End.
The plot: As Lord Cutler Beckett has seized control of the Caribbean territories, he has suspended all legal rights of the citizens and hangs anyone convicted of piracy or caught helping or associating with a pirate. As a line of people are led to the gallows, a young boy starts singing “Hoist The Colors”, the rest of the prisoners start singing as well, and Beckett appears pleased to hear that it is happening. In Singapore, Elizabeth Swann and Captain Barbossa go to meet Captain Sao Feng who, like Barbossa and Jack Sparrow, is one of the nine Pirate Lords. While they head inside, Joshamee Gibbs leads Pintel, Ragetti, Cotton, and Marty break into the sewers underneath Sao Feng’s hideout, using the musical cart that Tia Dalma is running as cover for the noise. Inside, Barbossa asks Sao Feng for the use of a ship and crew and Sao Feng says that is interesting as he had just caught a thief trying to steal some charts from him, and reveals a captured Will Turner. Sao Feng asks why they want to go to Davey Jones Locker and Barbossa explains that Jack was sent to the locker without naming a successor and they need him to fight the East Indian Trading Company. Sao Feng notices a spy among them just as soldiers led by Beckett’s second-in-command, Lt. Groves, attack the place. Gibbs and the crew give Barbossa and Elizabeth some weapons and join the fight as it spills out into the streets. During the fight, Sao Feng corners Will and blames him for leading Beckett’s men to him but Will says it is merely a coincidence and convinces Sao Feng to give him the charts and a ship as he needs the Black Pearl to save his father, but their conversation is overheard by Groves. Davey Jones has been attacking pirates and killing them all, despite Beckett’s orders to leave prisoners so Beckett has Davey Jones’ heart placed on board the Flying Dutchman, with Admiral Norrington placed on the ship to make sure Davey Jones follows Beckett’s orders. Meanwhile, Barbossa steers the ship North while Will tries to make sense of the charts he grabbed from Sao Feng. As night falls, they find themselves heading over the edge of a waterfall but while Will tries to get the crew to alter their course, Barbossa cancels the order and tells them to hold on as the plunge over the edge into Davey Jones Locker. In the Locker, Jack has been driven mad by the isolation, imagining multiple copies of himself as the crew of the Pearl, which is stuck in the middle of a desert. Jack tries pulling the Pearl to the sea and collapses in the sand when he is unable to move it but is startled when a swarm of crabs start carrying the Pearl away. Will, Elizabeth, Barbossa and the others make their way to shore and are surprised to see Jack and the Pearl crossing the dunes into the sea. When Jack comes towards them, he believes that they are all hallucinations but when he sees Elizabeth, he realizes they are real. Jack reveals that Elizabeth was the one to send him there, which she had kept hidden from everyone including Will, and doesn’t plan on taking them with him but when Barbossa shows him the charts, he reluctantly allows them to come on board. As they sail across the waters, they see the spirits of those who have died at sea floating in the water and Tia Dalma says that Davey Jones was supposed to ferry them to the other side but he stopped doing it, which is what turned him into the monster he is now. Elizabeth sees her father floating by in a boat and tries to save him but is unable too, as Gov. Swann tells her about Davey Jones’ heart. As their supplies run out, they try to figure out how to escape the Locker and Jack realizes the riddle on the map and has everyone run from one side of the ship to the next in order to turn the ship upside down, allowing them to escape the locker when the sun sets. Seeing an island nearby, Jack and Barbossa lead a party ashore to get supplies and discover the body of the Kraken, which Beckett had Davey Jones kill. Continuing on, the find the body of one of Sao Feng’s men and realize they have been double crossed when Sao Feng’s ship appears. Led back aboard the Pearl, they learn that Will had made a deal with Sao Feng to get control of the Pearl in exchange for giving Jack to Sao Feng. Sao Feng then reveals that he made a deal with Beckett to hand over Jack, as Beckett’s ship arrives and Jack is taken on board, while a squad of soldiers are placed on the Pearl. Jack barters with Beckett and says he will help him reach Shipwreck Cove and deal with the pirates inside in exchange for not telling Davey Jones that he escaped the Locker. Meanwhile, Barbossa convinces Sao Feng to help them by saying they will free Calypso, the goddess of the sea who was imprisoned in mortal form by the first Brethren Court. Sao Feng agrees and, thinking Elizabeth is `Calypso, asks that she be brought to his ship. When they agree, the pirates attack Beckett’s ship and Jack uses the attack to escape back to the Pearl, where he has Will thrown into the brig. That night, Sao Feng attempts to seduce Elizabeth but his ship is attacked by Davey Jones and Sao Feng is mortally wounded but before he dies, he makes Elizabeth the new captain, giving her his Piece of Eight. Elizabeth is captured and surprised to see Norrington leading the attack. Norrington has Elizabeth’s crew taken to the brig and Elizabeth chooses to go with them. In the brig, she meets Bootstrap Bill and talks with him but Bootstrap realizes that Will won’t be able to save him, as whoever stabs Davey Jones heart must sacrifice his own heart and become the new captain of the Flying Dutchman, and Bootstrap believes Will won’t sacrifice being with Elizabeth to do so. Norrington frees Elizabeth and the crew and helps them escape and Elizabeth asks him to join her but he chooses to stay behind and ensure their escape and is killed by Davey Jones. Meanwhile, Will has escaped from the brig and is tying bodies to barrels and throwing them overboard to lead Beckett to Shipwreck Cove but is confronted by Jack. The two talk and Will admits to a growing rift between him and Elizabeth but Jack says that Will should let him kill Davey Jones, then hands Will his compass and pushes him overboard. Will is picked up by Beckett and they are soon joined by Jones, and Will explains that the pirates intend to free Calypso. Jones says that it is forbidden, as he was the one to show the first Brethren Court how to bind her and they swore never to free her and Will realizes that Calypso is the woman Davey Jones loved. At Shipwreck Cove, the Pirate Lords produce their Pieces of Eight, except for Jack, and they argue over their course of action. Jack agrees with Elizabeth’s plan to go to war and Barbossa says that only the Pirate King can declare war and asks that the Keeper of the Code, which happens to be Jack’s father, verify it. The pirates then vote, with each one voting for himself except for Jack, who votes for Elizabeth. While this is going on, Davey Jones goes to visit Calypso, who is being held in the Pearl’s brig, and the two talk about their past and Calypso says that if the pirates free her, she will make them suffer for trapping her in the first place. The next day, the pirate fleet assembles for war but when Beckett’s armada appears, they start to lose their nerve. Barbossa, Elizabeth, and Jack go to an island to parley with Beckett, Davey Jones, and Will, where after discussion among them, an exchange is made where Will goes with Barbossa and Elizabeth while Jack goes with Beckett and Jones, but not before Barbossa cuts Jack’s Piece of Eight from his head. Returning to the Pearl, Barbossa grabs Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight and combines them with the others, which he had Ragetti hold onto, he uses them to free Calypso. As the spell starts to take effect, Will tells Calypso that Davey Jones was the one that betrayed her and she grows to towering size before transforming into a swarm of crabs and falling into the ocean. The pirates believe their hope is lost but Elizabeth inspires them to fight on and has the Pearl lead the charge, and as the Dutchman goes to meet them, Calypso causes a maelstrom to form in their path. As the fighting starts among the two ships, Will and Elizabeth ask Barbossa to marry them and the two are finally wed. Meanwhile, Jack manages to escape the Dutchman’s brig and grabs the chest but runs into Davey Jones and the two start fighting. Will sees Jack’s predicament and heads over to the Dutchman to help him and ends up fighting with his father, who has lost his memory of Will. When Davey Jones gets the upper hand on Jack, Elizabeth swings over to help but she gets overpowered. Seeing this, Will stabs Davey Jones but Davey Jones knocks him aside and prepares to stab him but is stopped by Jack, who is holding his heart but Davey taunts Jack into making a choice by stabbing Will through the heart. Seeing his son stabbed causes Bootstrap to remember who he is and he attacks Davey Jones, and Jack gives up his chance at immortality by guiding Will’s hand into stabbing Davey Jones’ heart. Davey Jones falls into the maelstrom and the Dutchman’s crew advance upon Will to place his heart in the chest, while Jack drags Elizabeth back to the Pearl before the Dutchman is swallowed by the maelstrom. Beckett has his flagship, the Endeavor, advance on the Pearl and Elizabeth and the crew prepare for a last ditch effort when the Dutchman appears, with Will as it’s new captain and the two ship destroy the Endeavor, killing Beckett and sending his armada running. Bootstrap asks to stay on as part of the Dutchman’s crew and Will agrees before going to a nearby island to spend his one day at shore with Elizabeth. As the sun starts to set, Will gives the chest with his heart to Elizabeth, saying it was always hers, before sailing off to start his duty of ferrying souls. Some time later, Jack is in Tortuga and finds that Barbossa has stolen the Black Pearl again, leaving him and Gibbs behind. When Pintel, Ragetti, and some of the other crew members question Barbossa’s decision to leave Jack again, Barbossa pulls out the chart and says they are going to the pirates forever, asking if they ever heard of the Fountain of Youth but discovers that Jack has cut out the charts and Jack is seen heading to Florida on his own. 10 years later, Elizabeth is walking to a sea cliff with her son and they watch as Will and the Dutchman appears and heads towards them
Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End met with mixed reviews from the critics, earning a 45% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “POTC: AWE provides the thrilling action scenes, but mixes in too many characters with too many incomprehensible plot threads.” At the time of it’s release, it’s $300 million budget would make it the most expensive movie ever made. The movie was a box office hit, earning $963.4 million and was nominated for two Academy Awards, but it did not win either of them.
This was a pretty good ending to a trilogy but it did have some faults. The acting was great, with all of the returning cast members doing great jobs in their roles. I did like the fact that they had Keith Richards playing Jack’s father, as Johnny Depp had said that he had based a lot of his character on Keith Richards. The story was good, but there were so many sub-plots and twists going on that it felt a little convoluted. The special effects were pretty good and the choreography with the sword fights was pretty decent, but aside form Jack and Davey Jones fighting on the mast, there wasn’t anything really spectacular. My biggest problem with the movie was basically it’s length (it could have been a bit shorter) and all the random twists that they added to it. Still, it fit in well with the other movies and did a good job finishing off the trilogy while leaving open the possibilities of future movies.
Rating: 4 out of 5