Friday, November 30, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Disney Releases Finale of Depp Trilogy on DVD

Who cares that this might be an incoherent, overplotted mess, when it comes stocked with an intriguing love triangle, plus enough swashbuckling action and spooky special effects to make you forget the fact that the story is almost impossible to keep straight? That’s exactly what we have with the finale of Disney’s kiddie trilogy featuring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

When last we saw the terminally-eccentric skipper of the Black Pearl, he and his ship had been dragged to the bottom of the ocean by the Kraken, a mammoth sea monster doing the bidding of dastardly Davy Jones (Bill Nighy). In the interim, piracy has turned into a rather perilous profession, due to an unholy alliance between Jack’s tentacle-faced tormentor and Lord Beckett (Tom Hollander), the Chairman of the East India Trading Company.

With Beckett now in control of The Flying Dutchman, Jones’ ghoulish ghost ship, the invincible vessel has been ridding the Seven Seas of pirates. So, as the film unfolds, we are greeted with the spectacle of the mass hanging of hundreds of convicts condemned to the gallows.

Since Pirates 2 and 3 were shot simultaneously, fans of the franchise are forewarned to anticipate a sense of déjà vu while watching this flick. Although the scenes are certainly original, there remains a vaguely familiarity air about it all.

In sum, At World’s End is a CGI-driven, seafaring exploring an assortment of themes such as love and betrayal, good versus evil, and failing and redemption. Unfortunately, it spins a far more convoluted yarn than its target demographic is likely to appreciate, a flaw further complicated by a glut of both good guys and bad guys to keep track of.

Best thought of as a Johnny Depp vehicle to be savored as a mindless, mildly scary escape.

Very good (3 stars)

Rated PG-13 for intense violence and frightening images.

Running time: 168 minutes

Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

2-Disc DVD Extras: Bloopers, filmmaker’s audio commentary, three featurettes, and a short film created exclusively for the DVD

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