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"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"

Directed by Gore Verbinski.
Written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio.
Starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and Geoffrey Rush.
Release Year:  2007
Review Date:  5/31/07


I won't lie to you--I was disappointed by "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" [which will be referred to in this piece as "Pirates 3"] because it was NOT complete dogshit.

After ranking the second "Pirates" flick, "Dead Man's Chest", in the shitastic category of things like "Back to the Future 3", "Sniper 3", "The Matrix Revolutions" and other truly awful sequels, I was excited to see just how bad the third "Pirates" film was going to be.  And while it is completely overblown, occasionally nonsensical and so long you momentarily believe that the "Lord of the Rings" films were actually 20-minute sitcoms, "Pirates 3" is slightly redeeming because it has Chow Yun-Fat, a couple of decent laughs, some pretty cool special effects and the promise (more likely just my hope) that this will be the last "Pirates" film I will have to sit through.

I can't even really summarize the plot for you, but I do know that most of what's important in this film has to do with the treasure chest that holds the heart of pirate Davy Jones (played again by Bill Nighy) and the ship that Jones commands, The Flying Dutchman, which apparently is indestructible and resides under the ocean and ferries the souls of the dead around the open seas in ten-year increments.  The good guys have our man Sparrow (Johnny Depp), the lovely Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), and the love interest, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), plus the gang of rag-tag shipmates that populated the first two films...whatever.  Even as I write this, I realize that none of this matters, because the plot--or the appearance of said plot--is secondary only to taking $10 from my pocket and making me suffer through an insane amount of fluffy horseshit posing as a "script."  In terms of the writing, the second two "Pirates" films are so far below the first film that I have to really struggle to remember why I liked the first "Pirates" film so much in the first place.  Truly poor.

At two hours and 45 minutes, my knees were aching and I sat in my seat wondering why Disney didn't pay to have someone edit this film...but, as stupidly loud and pompous as this film is (not to mention violent for what appears to be a light PG-13 for the family), "Pirates 3" does have a few moments that I thought were kinda cool, and the third film seemed to do a slightly better job of sticking with our money train in this franchise, Depp.  There are a couple of random Sparrow-gone-mad sequences that are funny only because Depp is so good; he inserts his kooky brand of humor for this character in enough spots to keep you awake.  We get Chow Yun-Fat for about five minutes, which is always great for me, and the tentacle face effects of the Davy Jones character, to me, is still the coolest thing to come out of these movies from a visual standpoint.

I don't think that "Pirates 3" is worth seeing; there aren't a lot of revelations that come out here that you don't see coming, and in any franchise where dying means that it's only a matter of time before everyone gets exhumed and raised from the dead anyway, it's hard to take anything that happens seriously (aka "the drama").  But, for $5 on a Saturday afternoon--note, the WHOLE afternoon--"Pirates 3" ain't too bad.  Thank goodness the big three threequels are, maybe we could get a little (sorta) fresh entertainment?

Rating:  Rental


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09