Went to see it yesterday at 1U with Jo, Huei Ling, Nadia, Azman and some of their friends. The amount of people waiting outside the cinema gate for the doors to open was crazy – even more so considering it was a 5.30pm show and not a 9pm one. It was really full (save some empty seats in the very first row). Looks like all the hype about it really worked to pull in the crowds.
Was the hype justified? Well, mostly yes, I suppose.
Don’t read on if you want to avoid spoilers.
In World’s End, we see Will, Elizabeth and Barbossa attempting to outfox Singapore-based pirate Sao Feng (Chow Yun Fatt) and acquire a ship, crew and map from him in order to rescue Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones’ Locker – where he captains an imaginary crew of multiple Jack Sparrows on the Black Pearl in a vast desert of what looks like white gravel. Eternal punishment, apparently.
The reason for Barbossa’s willingness to rescue Jack (Jack killed him and took the Black Pearl back in the first movie, remember?) becomes apparent when he reveals that he intends to convene the Brethren Court – the nine Pirate Lords – and convince them to unleash the goddess Calypso, as the threat posed by the combined forces East India Trading Company and Davy Jones is now beyond their abilities.
In the meantime… Will and Elizabeth are somewhat estranged because of lack of trust – he didn’t tell her of his plan to rescue his father, and she didn’t tell him that she was the one who left Jack to the Kraken, effectively killing him. Tia Dalma, the creepy voodoo lady (a.k.a. Calypso) is pining for Davy Jones, her former lover. Lord Cutler Beckett is happily using Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman to do his dirty work, as he possesses Davy Jones’ heart and uses it as leverage. And there’s a whole lot of double-crossing going on. So much I could barely keep track of who’s actually behind what. hahah
Sao Feng is incapacitated before reaching the Brethren Court and names Elizabeth captain in his place. She arrives at the meeting of the Brethren and tells them that their enemies know where they are and proposes that they make their stand and fight. After a bunch of noisy arguing, an appearance by the Keeper of the Code, Captain Teague (who seems to me to be Jack’s brother), soon results in a vote for a King to make the final decision as to fight or flight. It turns out to be one of the funniest sequences as every Pirate Lord votes for himself or herself and Jack uses that to his advantage to get the decision he wants: he votes for Elizabeth.
The enemy armada turns out much larger than they anticipated, but oddly the only two ships fighting are the Black Pearl and Flying Dutchman – caught up in a maelstrom created by Calypso, in what I assume is an ’emo,’ heartbroken mood. I wondered what every other ship did in the meantime…
After a complicated, really action-packed battle (in the middle of which Will and Elizabeth ask Barbossa to marry them – really rather absurd, the whole situation), the shocker comes when Davy Jones stabs Will Turner. Jack Sparrow, holding Jones’ heart, attempts to save Will by putting a knife in his hand and guiding it, stabs Jones’ heart. That action kills Davy Jones, and in turn Will has to become the next captain of the Flying Dutchman (after the crew cut out his heart and place it in the chest where Jones’ heart once was). Note that captaining the Dutchman dooms Will to an eternity of helping to ferry souls who died at sea to (somewhere – I forgot where) and only being allowed to set foot on land for one day every ten years. Ouch.
Then basically the Flying Dutchman comes to the Black Pearl’s rescue and between the two ships, they blast Cutler Beckett’s ship to pieces. The pirates are saved, the evil East India corporation is defeated. Hurray, the end.
Well, not quite. After docking at a port, Barbossa makes off with the Black Pearl (again), leaving Jack a little dinghy. But Jack’s turned the tables by making off with the all-important map and sails off to find the Fountain of Youth.
Why do I sense a part four coming? Sigh.
This series could go on and on and on. After all, Jack’s nigh invincible, Barbossa’s still around to bug him, Will’s immortal now (until someone stabs his heart) and Elizabeth’s still alive – with her son.
Anyway… My comments!
I couldn’t help but observe that all those emotionally involved with Elizabeth die somehow or other, and usually because of her… Will got stabbed by Davy Jones mostly because he brought himself to his attention by rushing up to save her. Her father was killed by Cutler Beckett. James Norrington died on the Flying Dutchman after helping Elizabeth and her Chinese crew escape. And if you want to count Jack Sparrow, well, he died too – and that was really her fault. haha
The story is waaaay complex. Probably too complex. I think in this case, two things really help: (1) remembering the first two movies, and (2) reading some spoilers. I was already prepared for the Brethren Court and Calypso (it doesn’t take much to guess who Calypso is in human form), so I had time to digest other subtleties in the movie, like when Beckett sneers at Davy Jones about making him kill his ‘pet’ and later we see the Kraken dead on a shore. And that short exchange between Jack and Teague which hints fairly strongly at them being brothers.
I do wish they had spent more time on the Pirate Lords instead of on the whole Calypso-Davy Jones love story. That was a waste of time since it wasn’t developed or used properly. I think it would have been more amusing to show more of the Pirate Lords in action.
Definitely not a movie for those who can’t take creepy stuff. There’s rather more gory/gross bits in World’s End than there was in Curse of the Black Pearl or Dead Man’s Chest.
But the visual effects! Superb. Top-class 3D models and animation (Davy Jones’ tentacles are as realistically eerie as before), excellent sand and water simulations, great blue-screen compositing. ILM did another fantastic job. I really think the movie industry has progressed so far in terms of achieving realism that the next big step left is literally audience involvement – the virtual reality kind.
As for the cast… Johnny Depp delivers again as Jack Sparrow – albeit a slightly delirious one at times. Orlando Bloom is… Orlando Bloom. But at least he doesn’t quite as pathetic here. Gotta feel sorry for his character though – he tries so hard but most of the time his efforts don’t really turn out the way he would like them to. Keira Knightey was okay. Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa? Splendid.
All in all, director Gore Verbinski manages to deliver a furiously action-packed movie with some memorable moments and it does rather deserve most of the hype it got. The previous two movies were better (and Curse of the Black Pearl rules all) but as it is, I think World’s End was fairly entertaining, but could have been better. Kinda like a B+ or A- grade I guess. hahah
Oh, and if anyone wants to know, the full list of the Pirate Lords is this:
- Ammand the Corsair, Pirate Lord of the Black Sea. Also called the Scourge of the Barbary Coast.
- Sri Sumbhajee, Pirate Lord of the Indian Ocean
- Capitaine Chevalle, Pirate Lord of the Mediterranean Sea. (I think I heard him introduce himself as the “Penniless Pirate” in the movie – or did I imagine that? ahahah)
- Mistress Ching, Pirate Lord of the Pacific Ocean, and purportedly the most dangerous of the Brethren.
- Gentleman Jocard, Pirate Lord of the Atlantic Ocean
- Captain Villanueva, Pirate Lord of the Adriatic Sea
- Captain Barbossa, Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea
- Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirate Lord of the Caribbean
- Captain Sao Feng, Pirate Lord of the South China Sea. Later replaced by Elizabeth Swann.
Info on Pirate Lords from jimhillmedia.com