Toon Talk: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
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by Kirby C. Holt
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Walt Disney Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Remember that scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl when the pirates, scrambling for ammunition, load everything that isn't nailed down into the cannons and fire them at their enemy in a desperate hope that at least some of it will hit the target?
Well, after watching Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (in theaters today), you'll feel a lot like that other ship: pummeled with everything that producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and their own pirate crew can throw at you. Yep, all stops are certainly pulled in this, the final chapter (at least for now) of this Pirate saga, and not all of it sticks like a fork in an eyeball.
The series' previous installment, Dead Man's Chest, ended in a flurry of cliffhangers, not the least of which was the apparent demise of one captain (Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow) and the resurrection of another (Geoffrey Rush's Barbosa). And the former does indeed return - no spoilage there, as we all know it is Jack who puts the "Eâ€? in this "Eâ€? ticket - but before we get to that, this mammoth epic has a course to set through its own murky, convoluted maelstrom of a plot.
Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), the megalomaniac head of the East Indian Trading Company, has upped the ante on his full-out war on the pirates of the seven seas, slaughtering all who have even the slightest acquaintance with the scalawag set. Meanwhile, the remaining crew of the Black Pearl, including former blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and his wayward lady fair Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), are led by Barbosa to Singapore to accrue a ship from local pirate overlord Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat). They need a new ship in order to rescue Jack and the Pearl from Davy Jones' Locker, and they have to travel to the ends of the earth to do so.
This leads us to said Locker, a hallucinatory after life where Jack busies himself by literally talking to himself in a trippy bit that proves once and for all that Johnny Depp can even steal a scene from himself. Reunited with his motley crew, the trip back proves just as perilous, necessitating a topsy-turvy maneuver for the Pearl to make it back to the land of the living.
Not to be forgotten, Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and his Flying Dutchman crew of crustaceans are now under the control of Beckett (who knew such a sniveling specimen would end up the ultimate villain of the series?), now in possession of Jones' heart in the proverbial "Dead Man's Chestâ€?. They catch wind that Jack and company are headed to the legendary Shipwreck Cove for an international conference of pirate masters (featuring an Epcot-size collection of multi-cultural miscreants) gathering to declare war once and for all on their seemingly more civilized counterparts.
And if that's not enough for you, throw into the mix Will's attempt to free his father Bootstrap Bill (Stellan Skarsgard) from the curse of the Dutchman, the secret agenda of voodoo priestess Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris) and, most ludicrous of all, the ascension of Elizabeth Swann, Pirate King (yeah, right), and you have enough crosses and double-crosses to make a skull and cross bones go cross-eyed.