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Capt. Sage's Review of
Pirates of the Caribbean 3:
At World's End

The short version of this review is that this movie is a good one on its own, and a good conclusion to the entire series. If you never watched the series before (or even if you have) then the opening will be confusing for you, but stick through it and you'll enjoy it. Once again, the movie has incredibly, incredibly good acting from every single character, including extras and animals. This movie is worth seeing merely for the quality of the acting and the resolution of all the conflicts. Yes, this is a major Hollywood blockbuster that actually, sensibly resolves not just one, but all its major plot conflicts!

The opening was confusing, as I said above. I thought I recalled, from the second movie, the general gist of what was supposed to be going on, but the opening seemed to have nothing to do with it. Instead, the opening set out to portray The East India Company in a very bad light (See the spoiler section below.1). We then go from there to join our main characters in a place whose identity I was uncertain of. It was revealed later to be on the opposite side of the globe from the previous scene, without many hints about the transition. This is one of the movie's weaknesses- thankfully it's generally more important to know which characters are in a scene than where the scene is on a map, and the movie never leaves us in the dark about who's in a scene.

The movies weaknesses are generally outweighed by its strengths, and one of the strengths of this movie is that it managed to involve all of the characters. It also provided an ending for nearly all of them. I was very glad that the two funny British Marines turned up again, and I wished they'd been in the second movie too. I also wish they'd been given more of an ending, but it was good to see them again.

This movie fixes one of Pirates 2's faults: too much reference to the original. In Pirates 3, there's just enough reference to Pirates 1 and 2 to be funny, and the right amount to resolve all the themes and conflicts and relationships.

Pirates 3 does however, introduce an entirely new fault. For the first time in the series for me, it actually began to feel like a Disney movie, because of the increased emphasis on the cute little animals. But I can't quite blame it for this, because they were very good and very funny.

As far as the film's moral framework: it still confuses piracy with freedom, but I have to say that the selfishness of everyone seemed very realistic indeed.(See the spoiler section below.2)

To say almost anything about the ending other than that it was very well done would be to spoil it, probably. The conflicts were actually resolved! Huzzah! So many films nowadays will refuse to solve conflicts or resolve them nonsensically, so I was rather happy that the movie built up the conflicts to a good climax and then sensibly resolved them.

In conclusion, the movie is good, despite the confusing beginning, because of the strength of its acting and the fact that it actually presents a resolution.


I doubt anything like the first scene ever happened in real life, and I wonder why it was in there. Probably it was to establish Lord Beckett of the East India Company as a villain, but that was going a bit far. Not only that, it rather hurt Elizabeth's assertions that the East India Company was destroying the freedom of the pirates. It looked like Lord Beckett was just massacring townspeople, and not really bothering pirates at all- only events later in the film's opening establish that pirates are indeed under pressure.

I think scenes of soldiers arresting actual pirates would've been of more use to establish his villainousness. Or maybe he should've killed Elizabeth's father at the beginning of the movie.

And what was up with the pirates singing? That never got explained. Am I forgetting something from Pirates 2? I thought that Calypso's song was a well-done theme linking Calypso and Davy Jones. But I never could figure out the point of the pirates' song.

The movie's confidence in sending itself up in this regard was also nice to see. I'm referring to the part when all the main characters are having a clash of wills so they're pulling guns on each other, and then Jack the monkey pulls a gun on the parrot! Do you see why I like the animals? Hm. That scene seems so wrong when I put it in print, but in the movie it's funny. Conventional wisdom is right: comedy's all in the timing.

Was it really a good idea to try to make Capt. Jack Sparrow, of all people, go crazy? Arguably he was already the craziest character in the whole franchise. On the other hand, though, since he already is pretty crazy, we didn't worry quite as much about him going crazy. But wasn't the point to make us worry? It was worrisome, but not that worrisome.

Come to think of it, what was the point of him going crazy anyway? Sure, it made for some great scenes, though generally I thought the ones near the end with his multiple selves were better, when the madness became a plot device which allowed us to get inside his head. So I can accept it as a plot device there, but I'm not sure what it was supposed to be doing in Davy Jones' Locker. On the other hand, since it was used to such great effect at the end of the movie, I'm prepared to accept it as a creative way of showing us how Jack comes to the conclusions that he does.

I was very sad when Adm. Norrington (the straitlaced guy) died, but at least he died having reclaimed his honor, and with a great line about his relationship with Elizabeth.

I have to say that the ending probably wouldn't have satisfied me if everything else had been kept the same but Elizabeth and Will got to have a normal life. Why? What with the emotional sadness of Elizabeth and Will pouring over me, I only felt mildly annoyed that basically Capt. Jack Sparrow and Capt. Barbossa were reset to where they were at the beginning of the first film. If Will and Elizabeth had lived happily ever after, I probably would've been much more alert to my rancor at Sparrow and Barbossa going back to square one. It was an excellent decision of the movie to address the conflict, but I think it should've been resolved differently.

Ah well, that's what fanfictions are for. I'm still very glad that the movie actually did have a resolution. It was bittersweet, but hopeful too, so I enjoyed the ending.