Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

(In theaters, May 2007) Oh no: Cast and Crew of the series have finally convinced themselves of their utter importance to world cinema. That’s the only way to explain this flaccid and pretentious third entry in what had begun as a perfectly balanced blend of action, horror, comedy and characterization. Oh, there’s still a solid 90 minutes of blockbuster cinema in here. Unfortunately, it’s drowned in another hour of superfluous material that advances nothing. The first act of the film is particularly annoying as the pace grinds to a halt and everything seems so important. The normally sympathetic characters seem bored, and so are we. Fortunately, things pick up longly thereafter, once past a death-world sequence that has escaped from a particularly pointless art film. Still, Johnny Depp is fun, Naomi Harris is hot, Geoffrey Rush is cool and the third act is a little masterpiece of special effects. There’s a lot of pieces in play (even if they don’t all fit together), and keeping track of them almost demands the drawn-out endings that begin to rival the end of the third Lord Of The Rings movie. I wonder if someone will ever have the guts to re-edit this self-indulgent mess properly.

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