Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End definetely has a lot of Chinese influence in there which directly dictated how the sets were built. Although they didn’t have a direct reference from Singapore from the early part of the 18th century, they did have other stuff from the 19th century, the early 1800s, and photographic-type research references to go by. Singapore, anyway, is kind of at a crossroads in Southeast Asia, with many different cultural references. So we have Indonesian, Malaysian and Chinese — it’s a melting pot for sure, and this film borrows heavily from it.
The third Pirates of the Caribbean is a voyage in the same spirit of the two earlier Pirates films, yet far darker in spots. We left off with the last movie as Captain Jack Sparrow was eaten by the Kraken. Apparently his stomach is connected to a empty desert area known as ‘World’s End’. Elizabeth, Will Turner and the revived Captain Barbossa sail off to fetch their beloved backstabbing Jack, played once again by Johnny Depp. The acting is great. Special praise goes to Geoffrey Rush who made Barbossa into an interesting character once again. I actually found myself liking him, something I didn’t think I could do after the first film.
And then there are the hordes of subplots, all of which prove that every character has at least three hidden agendas. This movie tried to introduce to many character to quickly and that is what almost ruined it for me. Chow Yun Fat makes a brief but important presence but nonetheless, he’s overcooking his part somehow. What the film needs so desperately is a clear-cut balance between good and evil and a straightforward narrative to propel that conflict steadily along. With that said, one could only imagine how much goes on in this film. As a fan of the movies, I have to say that a little too much is going one. So much in fact, we lose the richness and depth of the characters we’ve grown to love, and are forced to learn and care about new characters who die just as soon as they are introduced.
While the movie is quite long and the plot quite convoluted with twists and turns, this is an entertaining movie. The rescue situations are as far fetched as you can get, but the characters are so enjoyable, you ride along with them. As you know a sequel will be released soon entitled ‘On Stranger Tides’, so this movie is essential viewing if you plan to watch the fourth film next summer. This was a big budget summer movie that runs almost 3 hours in length and delivers a good time at the movies. Could have been better, but it could have been a lot worse as well.