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Pirates of the Caribbean: At Wit's End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Wit's End

There’s a beautiful scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End when Captain Jack Sparrow’s (Johnny Depp) ship turns upside down in the water. For one glorious moment, we see the upside down vessel suspended in the water right side up, as if the heavens were made of water and the ground were made of air. When it emerges from the sea, the ship’s contents and crew have been knocked about topsy-turvy. The narratively coherent version of the film must have been onboard, too, ending up as the beautiful and broken mess that is The Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, the third installment in the wildly popular film franchise.

Clocking in at a ludicrous three hours, the movie's saddled with a confusing and over-stuffed plotline, causing the viewer to feel as lost as the pirates on their searches. If you can handle it, though, it may be worth feeling seasick with confusion in order to be dazzled by the film’s cinematography and fantastic performances, so

The film opens with pirates being herded into the town square and hanged, upon orders of Lord Beckett (Tom Hollander). Thus, Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) calls an unprecedented meeting of pirate lords to deal with the crisis, lest pirates get wiped off the face of the earth. They start off in Singapore, asking Chinese pirate Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat) for munitions and a ship. (The stereotyping of Asians as cunning and inscrutable is utterly shameless in this film, unfortunately.)

As for Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), they set off to save Captain Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones’ Locker, where he is stuck and hallucinating. Unbeknownst to his maties, Will Turner has a secret agenda: to rescue his father “Bootstrap” Bill Turner (Stellan Skarsgård).

If you choose to see Pirates, read the above synopsis and remember it well. It will help you find your place in the stormy seas of the diabolically hard-to-follow plot that nearly ruins the film. Having seen the first two films, you’ll have a head start, but unless you have amazing powers of concentration, a few fight scenes into it you’ll be poking your pal in the ribs and whispering “Huh? Where are they? What’s happening?!”

As flawed as it is, there are bewitchingly surreal scenes and dazzling performances that keep this film afloat. One of the most amazing performances in At World’s End is Stellan Skarsgård's as "Bootstrap" Bill, who emerges from a wall covered in kelp and other marine life. Underneath all this makeup, Skarsgård manages to convey a lost soul, trapped and doomed. Johnny Depp upstages everyone as usual, including the hilarious Rush as Barbossa. Even Keith Richards’ cameo as Jack’s father doesn’t steal Depp’s thunder. Every time I see Jack Sparrow, I pick up another character influence: In addition to Keith Richards, there's a fan-waving Karl Lagerfeld, some Adam Ant, and a smidgen of silent film legend Buster Keaton. He holds it all together and you cannot take your eyes off of him. Like Captain Jack Sparrow, though, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is one hot mess.

Photos courtesy of


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Join The Conversation
wilma1 wilma1 8 years
The movie was long,but with Johnny Depp it by fast.I still can't decide which one like best.I guess all 3 of them.I will be glad when it comes out on DVD.I wish there was more of Johnny Depp,but like the part of duplicates of him.Johnny is so fun to watch.He's a Sexy Pirate.
ekdkdk1 ekdkdk1 8 years
I was already a huge Orlando fan, but the way he looked at the end of this was just re-affirming! He was very sexy by the end of this!!!! Also, I think they dropped the Calypso story line too quick once she was freed...but that is just my opinion.
kirsten kirsten 8 years
LOVED it! everyone applauded johnny depp's first onscreen appearance (there were a bunch of duplicates of him), and someone shouted "OH! There's one for everyone!"
rainonme224 rainonme224 8 years
It was a good movie but I was left wondering what was going on in many of the parts of the movie. The set was amazing though.
NadiaPotter NadiaPotter 8 years
did anybody else read that they cut an important part of the movie??? they said that Calypso and David Jones talk about the curse of the Dutchman, they said that one day and 10 years, but if the lover of the captain waits for him those 10 years and she remains faithful all those years he will be free of his duties. Then, we see the last last scene, when we see Elizabeth with a young 9 year old boy, waiting for Will. So this means that Will is free of his duties as the captain fo the Dutchman.
DukesUp DukesUp 8 years
Whaaaa?: Stereotyping of Asians as cunning and inscrutable is utterly shameless the way they portrayed dead people, British solders, men, women being no honor among thieves How the movie portrayed dead people?! Woah. We're talking about a fictional adventure movie based on a ride at Disneyland. A MOVIE. Not real life. This scares me. It was long and confusing sometimes and I didn't laugh out loud more than 3 or 4 times, but it was good. The ending surprised me and I didn't leave feeling like I completely wasted 20 dollars. Good, FUN, entertainment.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 8 years
I thought it was a fantastic movie. I hated the ending between Elizabeth and Will though.
Karma-Co Karma-Co 8 years
Can't wait to see it!
woodycakes woodycakes 8 years
it was really long but i enjoyed it.
popculture-whore popculture-whore 8 years
this movie was absolutely amazing. i loved it! yes i got confused at some parts but it was still great. totally worth it. it's so true! johnny upstages everyone and is so wonderful to watch. he's gorgeous too.. hehe. the ending made me incredibly sad. i'm sad to see the franchise end too.. but i'll always have memories of captain jack sparrow :D
torngyrl torngyrl 8 years
The movie is as crazy (a good crazy) as Jack Sparrow. What a wild ride. Fantastic cast of characters, Keith Richards did not require any make up! Worth seeing again and again and again.
specialksgurl specialksgurl 8 years
I LOVED IT!!!! Can't wait to go see it again! :) Orlando Bloom is so beautiful at the end of the movie :)
gruaig_rua gruaig_rua 8 years
I really enjoyed this movie. Much better than the second one. Was a bit disappointed with the conclusion of the Will & Elizabeth storyline. Delighted to see Keith Richards!! Even if he wasn't in it long enough for my liking. Johnny Depp was fabulouso as usual!! And of course Geoffrey Rush along with some secondary pirates (can't remember their characters names :OOPS:). Orlando definitely becomes a man in this movie. And omg is he HAWT!:DROOL:
thedeannamarie thedeannamarie 8 years
I can't wait to see it. I'm going to the matinee today. =D
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
what? the movies "stereotyping of Asians as cunning and inscrutable is utterly shameless." how about the way they portrayed dead people, british solders, men, women? they were all portrayed the same way. the whole movie was about there being no honor among thieves
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
i didn't find it confusing at all. and actually after seeing this one even i have to admit that orlando bloom is sexy. :)
shelly3769 shelly3769 8 years
I absolutely loved this movie. I thought it was very well done. Yes, at first the time was a bit daunting but once the lights went down and the movie started, the time flew by. Yes, there were a lot of different plot lines and every character had his or her own agenda but I think that it made it more interesting. I didn't find it hard to follow at all. I thought it was extremely enjoyable. Definately better than number 2. In addition, having a 9 yr old son, I have been to the movies every week for the last three. Pirates was infinately better than both Spiderman 3 (which was wretched) and Shrek 3 (which was boring and obviously only made for the money) combined. If World's End is the end of the Pirates series then it ended well. However, they cleverly set up for a fourth. Don't let the time or the reviews scare you away. The fantastic cinematography, the fantastic performances, the humor and the action are all worth your money and your time. Isn't escaping into a world of fantasy part of the reason people go to the movies anyway.
junebrug junebrug 8 years
Reading over that, I believe I have become too emotionally involved with fictional characters. :)
junebrug junebrug 8 years
I know they kill my darling hottie (Norrington). And Nadia, something happens to Will too?! I don't know if I want to see this.
GirlC GirlC 8 years
Three hours?! I hate when the they drag it out for NO good reason. And it sounds like there wasn't one. I'll still see it but thanks for the heads up.
Tiinnaaaa Tiinnaaaa 8 years
Great movie!! But it drags on a little..
SarahElaine SarahElaine 8 years
I saw it on Thursday night, and it was really good. The only complaint I have is that it was so long that I got confused about what was going on with the plot by the end.
Princess101 Princess101 8 years
i wanna see that sooooo bad.... Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom are sooooooooooooooooooooooo hot!
Fancy04 Fancy04 8 years
My husband likes these movies.
NadiaPotter NadiaPotter 8 years
I went yesterday, it was awesome, at least for me. My best friend is still crying for Will. We were 9 people together so.. when we were searching for a place, my friend's bro said "i want to sit with you, so you can explain it to me, like you did with harry potter"... but they didn't let him, so we where 1 seat separate, with a friend on one side and another friend on the other... these people keep asking me "what's happening?" and i was like "well, I think that..." I was never sure of what was going on, but they said I was the only one that understand the mayor part.
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