Just back from watching Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, the second part of the two part follow up to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Enjoyed it. Plot was twisty and did some interesting things with the characters. Great action sequences. Interesting characters. I would have liked more Chow Yun-Fat and Jack Davenport but with so many characters it’s hard to fit them all in. A fair number of characters removed from any future story arcs. Well as removed as any character is in a setting where pretty much anyone can be brought back from the dead and where gods can be trapped in human form.
Some people think there wasn’t enough Jack (Sparrow not the monkey) and that he didn’t appear early enough. However by saving him for awhile they were able to build up plots, other characters’ stories and anticipation. Sometime too much of a good thing can spoil it. The rest of the cast (even the over the top pirates) are the straight men for Jack to bounce off. He’s one of the things that makes Pirates of the Caribbean special. Too much of him though and he’d become annoying or worse ordinary. He is a character who is in danger of suffering from what Gamers refer to as Monty Haul – something many film series suffer from. I’ll come back to that in a minute.
Great ship battles. In a realistic film a well fought ship of the line should have held up to two smaller ships a little longer especially when the two smaller ships have just gone toe to toe. But this wasn’t Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World it was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and two large frigates can take a ship of the line in a single pass…
The music was a real overblown, bombastic treat and has move further away from The Peacemaker score that the first Pirates film wasn’t many themes different from.
If I had time I’d love to work out how many character triangles there were at work in the plot. Jack, Will and Elizabeth is the most obvious and in many ways is like the love triangle at the heart of Star Wars IV – VI, although in this case (spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t seen Star Wars and still might) Han doesn’t get the girl the nice boy (turned rebel to save the world) does. A couple of others that spring to mind (although not all big triangles now) include Will, Elizabeth and ‘Bootstrap’; Will, Elizabeth and Norrington; and Beckett, Jack and Davy Jones. Each of these triangles interact to push the story in different directions. Sometimes you don’t know which triangle is driving a character when there are two acting on them at the same time – a situation that affects both Will and Elizabeth at different times and sometimes the same time.
So should they come back for more? I can see there is milage in some of the characters and they’ve set them up for more potential adventure. If they do I hope they are careful not to try and top this one – you can only have so many sea battles in whirl pools. Focusing on a smaller number of characters wouldn’t hurt so they can give them a bigger chunk of screen time each. Avoid the trap of going down the Monty Haul road.