Pirates of the Caribbean, the trilogy ends

Posted: May 24, 2007 in Movies

After ending up soaking wet in the anti-fraud rally held yesterday at the Philippine International Convention Center, I decided to soak myself into something else last night.

There’s something about being wet from a rally that makes you want to watch a pirate film. Or at least that’s how I justified my watching Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End right after the mass action.

I’ve been a big fan of the Disney franchise since the first episode. And I was really excited when the third installment came out, big rally and soggy socks notwithstanding.

The film started out with something eerily familiar (again). Martial Law has been declared by Lord Beckett (who owns the East Asia Trading Co.). He suspended the writ of habeas corpus, a person’s right to counsel, right to assembly and imposed the death penalty on pirates and everyone providing aid and comfort for pirates. (How’s that for an anti-piracy law?)

So the “government” represented by Lord Beckett has launched a full-scale crackdown on pirates everywhere, using the Flying Dutchman as its main offensive weapon. Those who watched the last film know that Davy Jones is now held by the balls by East Asia after the disgraced Admiral Norrington took Jones’ heart and gave it to Beckett.

The pirates now have to form a “united front” against Becket and Davy Jones. But how can dishonest and doublec-crossing pirates unite for even the most basic point such as survival?

Here’s where the latest “Pirates” installment differs from the first two. The plot is more “cerebral” and tackles darker issues. No running human kebabs and island cannibals here. The plot had many twists and turns. Heck, you’d get lost from all the double-double-cross that the characters do to each other. Trust no one and don’t believe everything you hear.

“Pirates” has won millions of fans despite the fact that the protagonists in the film are, well… pirates, the traditional “kontra-bida”. Pirates are the heroes while the government agents are the anti-heroes. Pirates are the sea-faring adventurers while big business are cold-hearted entities who want to control the waters. The movie gets away with the message that it’s ok to challenge the duly constituted authority especially if it turns despotic.

Who turns up with the best performance in the film? I have to go with Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Swann. Of all the pirates in the film, only she had the courage to actually rally everyone to fight. Though the ever opportunistic and slightly deranged Jack Sparrow did have his shinning moments in the film, Swann was Braveheart on a pirate ship.

Orlando Bloom (Will Turner), who did good in the first and second episodes, seemed lost in the third. His character was flat, two dimensional. His best moments in the film where his sequences with Knightly. What happened to him at the end of the film, well, you decide if it was worth it.

I also enjoyed Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbosa. He’s as insane and as smart as Jack Sparrow and you could actually empathize with him now. He did provide a lot of funny moments in the first episode so his inclusion in the final episode was much welcome.

There’s something about these “pirates” challenging the status quo which deserves a second look. I would like to see the movie again… this time wearing dry clothes.

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