There are summer blockbusters and then there is the summer blockbuster, and it is hard to even fathom how any movie is going to top "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" without the help of many, many transforming automobiles.
"Pirates" is everything a summer blockbuster should be: full of special effects, plenty of catchy one-liners and tons of explosions and fights. It can be argued that the plot is a bit confusing in the beginning, especially if all you remember from the second one is the sword fight on the wheel, a guy with tentacles for a face and a sinking sense of disappointment. But seeing the film with a "Pirates" expert — they’re female and around the age of 13 — will easily clear up this problem.
Said expert can tell you all about the curse of Davy Jones, Jack Sparrow’s death at the hands of Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner’s quest to save his father from eternal damnation, so it’s not happening here. All of these plots are back in action along with the return of Captain Barbosa, Lord Beckett and the addition of the nine pieces of eight, a pirate’s council and the Goddess Calypso, plus every supporting cast member who even sneezed in the previous two films.
Since "Dead Man’s Chest" and "At World’s End" were filmed at the same time, the entire cast is back in action with the welcome addition of Chow-Yung Fat. Thankfully, Depp’s flamboyant Sparrow is used far more prudently than in the second film, removing the feeling that Captain Jack Sparrow had become Johnny Depp playing Jack Sparrow and saving the character entirely. Orlando Bloom, on the other hand, is still not a pirate.
Since almost every character has their own motivations, and they are almost always counter to at least one other character’s actions, it is frequently hard to tell who is on whose side and what they’re true goal is. But double-crossing, along with turning and running, is one of the pirate’s most ancient and honored traditions, it just makes it so that you can’t sit back and turn off your brain.
That is until the last hour of the film, which, simply put, is one of the greatest action sequences ever. Director Gore Verbinski follows about five plot lines while almost every character in the film fights, swings and swashbuckles between two boats caught in a monster whirlpool caused by the Goddess Calypso. Concluding a film with a blatantly long action sequence that could almost stand as a movie itself is the definition of summer blockbuster and seals the "Pirates" trilogy off with such a bang that the fact that the films are based on one of the weakest of Disney’s rides is completely forgotten.
Even the biggest of pirate haters must concede that the sheer spectacle of the film far outweighs any confusion they might have had with an overcomplicated plot or annoyance with the fact that there are no truly great Errol Flynn-esque sword fights in the entire trilogy and that the final film firmly re-establishes the fact that swashbuckling and cannons are just as cool as light sabers, magic staffs and webbing. Let the trilogy wars begin.
<1b>— Matthew Razak