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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
1 out of 5 stars
Time Out says
1 out of 5 stars
The sea-cow gets another milking in the third outing of the outrageously profitable ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ series. This time they’re brawling in Singapore, playing politics at a summit of pirate lords and blasting cannon across whirlpools. I’d love to give you a better idea of the movie’s plot, but I genuinely have no idea what it is. You’re certainly expected to have full recall of the previous instalment, so if you didn’t see that, forget it. I did see it, but didn’t understand it at the time and certainly have no clue ten months on why Bill Nighy’s squid-faced Davy Jones is in league with the beastly tea-swilling Brits, what Johnny Depp’s antically flouncing Jack Sparrow is doing cavorting with dozens of himself in a ‘Being John Malkovich’-lite netherworld, or why we’re expected to give a ship’s rat’s arse how Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley’s ongoing joint mission to out-wet the ocean is going. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve quite a soft spot for non-narrative popcorn fodder, as long as it’s spectacular and offers a basic idea of what’s at stake and who I should root for. Here, however, the action is messy and repetitive and the story-shaped hole is plugged by a slew of compacts and betrayals whose number is outstripped only by their unfathomability. It lasts about three hours and has about three funny bits, and Keith Richards’ cameo as Sparrow père is not among them. The poor chap barely seems able to move his features – perhaps they should have used the wonderful CGI that gives Nighy a faceful of tentacles to give Richards an expression or two.