Sunday, May 27, 2007

Reel To Reel: Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End

Ahoy! A producer and a privateer team up to review the latest super-swashbuckler.

How It Rates: **
Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Stellan SkarsgÄrd, Chow Yun-Fat, Geoffrey Rush, Keith Richards
Rated: PG-13
Red Flags: Ye Olde Swashbuckling Violence

Our official buccaneer took some R&R from his high seas adventures to catch the new Pirates movie. Captain Bartholomew Burgundy joins us here. So, what did you think?

I thot' it was a grand spectacle, mate! But I gotta admit, I fancied th' first two parts better.

I agree. This sequel has a few strong sequences and a few good sword fights. But would you agree with me that it's like a ship overloaded with cargo? Something that sails, but barely?

Tha' seems ta describe it spot-on. I wished I 'ad me charts to be navigatin' th' flick at times, wi' all its subplots an' characters. I mean, tha' gangs all 'ere. Ye got Captain Jack, all righ', but ye also got Will an' Elizabeth an' Cap'n Barbossa. An' ye got Davy Jones an' all these other pirates in th' stew, includin' one tha' looks a bi' like Keith Richards.

That is Keith Richards, playing Jack Sparrow's father. I really wanted to see more of him in this picture, sort of like Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade.

Aye, me bucko! Seems like ou' friend Cap'n Jack's becomin' a lil' indisposed with wha' you landlubbers call multiple-personality disorder. All these voices insid'a his head! I see any'a me crew talkin' like such, I cut 'is rum ration, savvy?

It's amusing, I'll give it that. But I didn't see it in the first two pictures, and I wonder if these hallucinatory sequences exist only because somebody said, "we need more Jack!" Actually, we need more Jack being Jack and less of everybody else being themselves. In this chapter, our pirate heroes are trying to get Jack back from Davy Jones' locker. That's enough work for one picture, requiring them to enlist the help of a pirate from Singapore and sail off the edge of the map. They need him to help them stop the East India Company -- headed by the stiffly evil Lord Cutler Beckett -- from wiping out every pirate with the help of Davy Jones' heart.

Tha' Lord Beckett! He's a mongrel, ain' he? Ye bein' a patriot an' all allied wi' His Excellency George Washington, didn' it chill ye in the beginnin' of th' picture where 'e read out all th' rights tha' be suspended? No habeas corpus! No freedom of assem'bly! An' hangin' all thos' poor souls? Bleedin' awful.

Aye, that got my attention, Captain. But the character of Lord Beckett is one-dimensional. He ranges from conniving to annoyed, mostly over tea.

Makes ye want to 'ave one of ye Boston-style tea parties on 'is ship, righ'?

Aye, but that's another movie. Getting back to this one, rescuing Jack is only the first thing on the list. Next, the members of the pirate brotherhood have to get together for their version of the UN, where they decide what they're going to do about Beckett. In the course of all of this, you have alliances and double-dealing and double-crossing. I forgot who was aligned with who. Looks like I needed a chart, too. But the film does tie up the loose ends, and if you can forget about the nuances and the twists and enjoy the action, you'll like it.

I liked th' action. I gotta admit I nev'r seen a sword fight on a ship's mast, right? And ye gotta love the part where all the' crew of the Black Pearl is runnin' back an' forth to list th' ship so tha' it flip over like a tortoise. Bu' I say the picture ran a wee bit long.

I agree. It runs nearly three hours. I would have found a way to trim thirty minutes out of this film.

Not hard, mate. Where's me cutlass? Wha' scenes would ye slice ou'?

I would've thinned or lost a few scenes involving Elizabeth's and Will's respective fathers. That's for starters. I'd have to get another look at the film if you want specifics.

But ye'd leave 'ol Keith Richards in, righ'?


Wha' abou' tha' extra scene after th' credits?

Thanks for reminding me. Sit through them and you'll get a hint of what may be to come.

Ye thinkin' another sequel?

You bet your booty.

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