Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – A Movie Review

So, as most of you know, for ten months of the year I am a high school English teacher.  This gives me great insight into many different aspects of life, including which movies are winning the admiration of youth culture.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End did not score well.  This initially confused me, because while I thought Dead Man’s Chest was entertaining, many high school students loved it with a passion I didn’t understand.  So when they came in, some literally the next day, after seeing At World’s End and lamented the demise of their favorite movie franchise, I thought to myself, “Netflix.”

Fortunately for me, my wife and I wanted to go see a movie and At World’s End was about the only thing that stuck out to us.  I’m glad it did.  In my opinion, the professional critics and the more astute high school students were wrong.  At World’s End was wonderful. 

I liked everything about this movie.  The special effects were the best yet, the acting was fun to watch (especially Depp’s, whose return to quirkiness with Captain Jack was much needed), and, most importantly, the story finally made sense and wrapped up many plotlines.

We finally get to see something relatively interesting done with Orlando Bloom’s character, Will Turner; Bill Nighy’s Davy Jones turns out to be far more complex than anyone imagined; Geoffrey Rush’s Captain Barbossa is a flat-out joy to watch; and the Keith Richards’ cameo was instant-classic.  The movie had action, humor, character development (finally!), and some dramatic gravitas (not so much to ruin the fun tone, though).  Really, for me, At World’s End captured everything I enjoyed about its two predecessors, and truly felt like a continuation and conclusion of those two other films.

One major complaint I heard from the critics was that there was simply too much going on, and yes, there were several plotlines being dealt with, but I never thought it was too convoluted to enjoy.  Be aware, however, that I wasn’t holding it accountable for much.  In my mind, this is a fun summer movie based on a Disney attraction, so I made sure simply to enjoy the ride.  Were there some aspects I didn’t totally understand?  Yeah, but I got the overall idea.  It certainly didn’t ruin my viewing experience.

All in all, I thought it had the fun of the first one with a far more complex treatment of storyline and character.  Best of all, it concluded all the plots that had been introduced in the other films, ended very symmetrically with the beginning of The Curse of the Black Pearl, and even left itself open to some interesting possible sequels.

Which reminds me-make sure you sit through the credits.

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