out of Five
Running time: 168
Overlong, over-plotted and frequently dull threequel that only really gets into gear in the last forty minutes thanks to an impressively action-packed climax.
What's it all about?
Picking up where the second film left off, the third film in the Pirates franchise sees Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) joining forces with a back-from-the-dead Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) in order to rescue Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from Davy Jones' Locker. However, they must first enlist the help of the cunning Chinese Pirate Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat).
Meanwhile, the terrifying ghost ship the Flying Dutchman, captained by Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) is sailing under the control of the villainous Lord Beckett (Tom Hollander) and wreaking havoc on the Seven Seas. Will our heroes be able to put a stop to his dastardly ways?
The film picks up with a rousing, action-packed climax that redeems much of the tedium of the previous two hours. Similarly, there are several good gags and Depp and Knightley are both terrific, although Keith Richards' much-hyped cameo as Sparrow Snr is a bit of a damp squib.
The biggest problem with Pirates 3 (as right-thinking people everywhere are calling it) is that it's extremely long and unforgivably dull for the first two hours. The opening action sequence is both badly handled and disappointing, while Chow Yun-Fat is given almost nothing to do, which seems odd considering that his presence forms a large part of the film's pre-publicity.
The plot is insanely complicated and it becomes almost impossible to follow the complex mishmash of betrayals and double-crosses, let alone what the characters actually want from each other. The film also requires you to remember Pirates 2 in great detail – it could really have used a Previously, on Pirates… opening sequence.
In short, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End won't be shivering many timbers but its exciting, action-packed climax ensures that your doubloons be not entirely wasted. Yargh.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (12A)