Three hours is too long for a film, unless it’s a breathtaking epic that will have you gasping in non-stop delight. If you’re going to make your film three hours long, you should hand out those surgical socks you wear on planes to stop you getting thromboids in your deep veins. Ok. Rant over.
I was really looking forward to the final part of the trilogy. I’ve got a soft spot for a good pirate yarn having been weaned on epics like The Crimson Pirate, which everyone should see at least once in a lifetime, if only for the gymnastic abilities of Burt Lancaster. So far Pirates of the Carribbean was more than living up to the expectations of the films that paved the way for a bit of swashbuckling high camp, even going so far as to blatantly steal some of their best material (the upside down boat underwater in Pirates one – blatantly stolen from The Crimson Pirate) and so far had been doing them proud.
I’m not really sure what happened in the third one, in more ways than one. For the first half hour of number three I was a little bit embarrassed. The cheese level was almost off the scale, there was no Captain Jack, and the plotline was developing into something so convoluted that even members of Mensa would be struggling to dissect it. I would normally do a plot breakdown for you here, but I still don’t really know what happened. Er…Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has been sent to the doldrums, and Keira Knightly and crew have to try and get him back by enlisting the help of a dwarf, an elf and some hobbits. Yep, I think that’s it. Then they get double crossed by each other, and some Pirate lords come to help, and er…
When Jack Sparrow does appear on screen there was an audible sigh of relief from the whole cinema. Johnny Depp is genius. He’s the rug that holds the room together by giving yet another acting masterclass. Sadly, he is surrounded by what seems to be a local village drama group putting on a Pirate Panto, the worst offender being Orlando Bloom, whose only acting chops are to squint a lot, and shout all his lines. No emotion ever really crosses his face, fine for playing an emotionless Elf, not so good for the swashbuckling. Keira Knightly is alright, but doesn’t really get to do anything but pout a lot, and she and Bloom have the added benefit of being so covered in fake tan that it looks like the screen is thrumming with radioactivity.
Probably one of the biggest pre-release talking points was the Keith Richards cameo, playing Captain Jack’s dad. As we all know by now, Depp based his character on Richards, and it was always mooted that he might appear. Far from taking it as a bit of tongue in cheek, Richards acts his old rockers heart out, and, if you could have made out what he was saying, would have been amazing. He is total rock and roll though, so we’ll let him off for the incoherence, it was only a bit of fun afterall.
The last hour of the film is cracking, mainly because we have the Captain back, but also because there are a few really decent belly laughs, and the action is non stop. We have a massive Pirate-off, with some of the best set pieces of all three of the films. The Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman and all their random crews really get into it, and it feels like a reward for being so dilligent for the first two hours. I won’t spoil it for you, but the ending does open up a few new avenues for potential sequels and spin off stories. But have they done enough to make you want to come back for any more offerings?
The film overall looks amazing. There are some beautiful scenes in the doldrums, with some great CGI crab action (the crabs are fantastic, more of them please). But to my mind if I want to see some beautiful scenery, I’ll watch Planet Earth. It’s not what this film is really about, and you couldn’t help thinking that really it could have been at least an hour shorter if it wasn’t trying so hard to look good. There are some really great parts to this film, but there are also enough bad points to cancel each other out. I think it needs to be seen just so you complete the trilogy, but if you’re expecting an amazing filmic crescendo then you’re going to be really disappointed.
Here are my votes
|Story Line||Tangly like spaghetti||4|
|Fake Tan||A very orange||5|
|Keith Richards Cameo||Word Up||7|
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