Movie Reviews: Pirates ... At World's End (Pt. 2)
A second wave of reviews for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End came ashore today, and by and large they are much more propitious than the first. Washington Post critic Stephen Hunter, who was decidedly unimpressed with the two prior Pirates movies, grudgingly writes: "Funner, biggerer, brightererer, bolderer, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is not only okay, it may even be close to good. ... It's the first Pirates movie I've walked out of without thinking, 'Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of Tums.'" Michael Wilmington in the Chicago Tribune remarks that the latest Pirates film is the "most visually spectacular, action-packed and surreal" of the three, and he concludes, "The movie, extravagant, amusing and exciting, may be only a ride, but it's a ride that dazzles." New York Times critic Jeannette Catsoulis is especially dazzled by the performances of Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Bill Nighy Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley. The film, she says, "reminds us that great acting can transcend even the most elaborate makeup." Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times observes that the characters have now become "part of pirate-movie lore," and, he adds, "The sets, costumes, stunts and special effects are beyond what anyone could have dreamed about during the Golden Age of the pirate movie." But a few critics do have their swords out for these pirates. Claudia Puig in USA Today calls the film a "bloated, overwrought and convoluted three-hour misfire." Several critics admit, as those quoted Wednesday in earlier reviews did, that they couldn't figure out what was coming off in the film. Comments Gene Seymour in Newsday: "There's so much stuff happening, sometimes all at once, that it's hard to keep track of who's on whose ship, who's selling out whom and even who's getting killed, where and how. And it won't matter whether you've seen the first two Pirates movies or not. You'll still be confused." And Michael Sragow in the Baltimore Sun grades the film a D+, remarking, "This series has become so bloated and laborious that the plot -- and its subplots and countersubplots -- puncture any enjoyment you may have in this movie's daft slapstick and bold visual coups."