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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Posted on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 4:00 AM

***1/2
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Length: EP
Studio: Buena Vista Pictures
Rated: PG-13
Website: http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/pirates/atworldsend
Release Date: 2007-05-25
Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom
Director: Gore Verbinski
WorkNameSort: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Our Rating: 3.50
The diminished expectations raised by the first two of this summer's big three 'No. 3â?� films (Spider-Man 3 and Shrek the Third) may have something to do with why At World's End seems so successful. While it's nearly a half-hour longer than the interminable Spider-Man 3, Pirates doesn't feel as if it has an empty moment in it; and that's counting the ridiculous culmination of the romance between Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). With all the heroes, villains and characters of questionable morality that populated the first two chapters returning for the conclusion, plus the addition of new faces like Chow Yun-Fat and, yes, Keith Richards, this one starts out feeling overstuffed and confusingly complex. Yet as soon as the ships start sailing and the swashes start buckling, any regrets you may have had about not re-viewing Pirates 2 as a refresher beforehand will quickly be pushed aside. Johnny Depp beautifully overplays the silliness of Jack Sparrow (again), and still somehow manages to inject intriguing depth into the character. It feels strange to give the nod to a Jerry Bruckheimer production over anything Sam Raimi was involved with, but from the stunning visual effects and well-paced action sequences to the smartly written story, Pirates closes the book on its trilogy (and opens the book on the next batch) far more elegantly and enjoyably than Spider-Man. Who'da thunk?

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