Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END
The third instalment of the super successful ‘scallywag trilogy’ completely collapses under the weight of its Hollywood blockbuster franchise requirements. The timbers were more than shivering by the end of the overlong, unduly convoluted but still intermittently fun Dead Man’s Chest. But with At World’s End the sense of playfulness that made The Curse of the Black Pearl such a surprise delight has been submerged beneath bum-numbingly tedious plotting designed to divvy up the screen time of the principal participants - Johnny Depp’s just-about-still-amusing stoner pirate, and, increasingly, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom’s dull, virginal lovers.
Thus, everything up to and including coherent plot development and extended comedy routines are thrown overboard, and even the spectacular set pieces of the previous films are made to walk the plank. For at least the first half, this almost three hour long dark and humourless behemoth feels like it’s yet to get started (and, confusingly, there’s no recap of the events that came before), as the cast betray one another and realign their loyalties seemingly endlessly. By the time the climax arrives, a duel between the Black Pearl and Davy Jones’ ghost ship The Flying Dutchman fought spinning around the rim of a maelstrom, the effects-heavy spectacle isn’t enough to rescue At World’s End from its waterlogged grave.
Out now on general release.