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Wednesday, May 23, 2007 12:58 am

Overloaded and bloated

Third Pirates will hurt your head

Untitled Document The third chapter of the Pirates of the Caribbean saga mercifully brings the franchise to a close, I hope — and though the story makes little sense, it is an improvement over part two and delivers some impressive visual sights, which has always been the series’ strong point. Logic and coherence go out the window when director Gore Verbinski is at the helm, but you can rest assured that he’ll provide enough eye candy to give you visual diabetes. At World’s End picks up where Dead Man’s Chest left off: Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has been swept away to Davy Jones’ Locker and the trio of Capt. Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) set off to bring him back. When they finally track Sparrow down, the hellish locale they find him in is likely to upset the young ones in the audience, because it is truly disturbing, and Sparrow himself has been transformed into something much less attractive than what we’ve become accustomed to. Once back in the land of the living, Sparrow becomes embroiled in a convoluted plot that somehow involves a battle between the Nine Lords of the Brethren Court (a.k.a. the worst of pirates) and Lord Beckett, the East India Company, and supernatural forces. Somehow this involves endless meetings, double-crosses, confusion, and, worst of all, boredom until the next action sequence. Unfortunately, Verbinski labors under the notion that too much is never enough. There’s a fine line between entertaining viewers and bludgeoning them — and Verbinski crosses it with abandon every time he’s required to fill the screen with pyrotechnics. The furious pace of the editing hardly helps the eyestrain. Once the dust finally settles, after nearly three hours, there’s a hint that more pirate adventures with Sparrow and the crew may be in the offing. How much more Verbinski can wring from these characters remains to be seen.
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