Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)

Movie


Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)

After Elizabeth, Will, and Captain Barbossa rescue Captain Jack Sparrow from the land of the dead, they must face their foes, Davy Jones and Lord Cutler Beckett. Beckett, now with control of Jones' heart, forms a dark alliance with him in order to rule the seas and wipe out the last of the Pirates. Now, Jack, Barbossa, Will, Elizabeth, Tia Dalma, and crew must call the Pirate Lords from the four corners of the globe, including the infamous Sao Feng, to gathering. The Pirate Lords want to release the goddess Calypso, Davy Jones's damned lover, from the trap they sent her to out of fear, in which the Pirate Lords must combine the 9 pieces that bound her by ritual to undo it and release her in hopes that she will help them fight. With this, all pirates will stand together and will make their final stand for freedom against Beckett, Jones, Norrington, the Flying Dutchman, and the entire East India Trading Company.
USA
IMDb   7.1 /10
Metacritic   50 %
TheMovieDb    7.2 /10
RottenTomatoes
FilmAffinity   6.1 /10
Information
Release Date2007-05-22
Runtime2h 49mins
GenreAction, Adventure, Fantasy
Content RatingPG-13 (PG-13)
AwardsNominated for 2 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 49 nominations.
CompanyWalt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Second Mate Productions
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Jack Sparrow
Captain Hector Barbossa
Elizabeth Swann
Davy Jones
Governor Weatherby Swann
Gibbs (as Kevin R. McNally)
Cutler Beckett

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is a 2007 American epic fantasy swashbuckler film directed by Gore Verbinski, the third installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series and the sequel to Dead Man's Chest (2006). It follows Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Hector Barbossa, and the crew of the Black Pearl as they seek to rescue Captain Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones' Locker. They then prepare to fight the East India Trading Company, led by Cutler Beckett, who controls Davy Jones and plans to extinguish piracy forever.

Two sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl were conceived in 2004, with Elliott and Rossio developing a story arc that would span both films. The film was shot in two shoots during 2005 and 2006, the former of which was released as Dead Man's Chest. This also marks the final film of the series to be directed by Verbinski. With a production budget of nearly US$ 300 million, it was, at time of production, the most expensive film ever made.

Walt Disney Pictures released the film in the United States on May 25, 2007. Critical reviews were mixed; the film was praised for its performances, direction, musical score, action scenes, humor and special effects, but was criticized for its plot, character development and long running time of 168 minutes. Despite this, At World's End was the highest-grossing film of 2007, bringing in over $960 million. It was nominated at the 80th Academy Awards for Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects, which it lost to La Vie en rose and The Golden Compass, respectively. It won favourite movie actor for Johnny Depp in 2008 Kids' Choice Awards. A sequel, On Stranger Tides, was released May 20, 2011.


Plot

To control the oceans, Lord Cutler Beckett executes anyone associated with piracy in Port Royal and orders Davy Jones to destroy all pirate ships. Condemned prisoners sing "Hoist the Colours" to compel the nine Pirate Lords to convene at Shipwreck Cove to hold the Brethren Court. Because Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirate Lord of the Caribbean Sea, never named a successor before being dragged to Davy Jones' Locker, Hector Barbossa, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Tia Dalma, and the surviving crew of the Black Pearl consisting of Marty, Cotton, Pintel, Ragetti, and Joshamee Gibbs plot to rescue Jack. In Singapore, the crew meet Captain Sao Feng, Pirate Lord of the South China Sea, who owns navigational charts to the Locker. Will secretly promises to give Jack to Feng in return for the Pearl, intending to use it to rescue his father Bootstrap Bill Turner from the Flying Dutchman.

The crew rescues Jack and recover the Pearl. As they depart, they encounter boats of dead souls, including Elizabeth's father Governor Swann, executed by Beckett. Tia Dalma reveals that the goddess Calypso charged Davy Jones with guiding the souls of those who died at sea to the next world. Every ten years he could come ashore to be with the woman he loved. Jones corrupted his purpose and was cursed to become a monster. The soul of Governor Swann reveals that whoever kills Jones, by stabbing his disembodied heart, must become the Dutchman's captain.

Returning to the living world, the Pearl stops at an island for fresh water. They are attacked by Sao Feng and Beckett's men. Jack secretly promises to make sure the pirate coven goes to battle against Beckett in exchange for his freedom. Elizabeth is handed over to Feng, who believes she is Calypso, while the rest of the crew make for Shipwreck Cove aboard the Pearl. Jack throws Will off the ship as part of a plan to seize control of the Dutchman. Sao Feng tells Elizabeth that the first Brethren Court bound Calypso in human form after she betrayed her lover, Davy Jones. Feng plans to release her to defeat Beckett. Jones attacks Feng's ship. Feng appoints Elizabeth his successor as Pirate Lord before dying.

Elizabeth and the crew are locked in the brig of the Dutchman, where she finds Bootstrap Bill losing himself to the Dutchman's curse. He tells her that Will must not come; by killing Jones he will bind himself to the ship. Admiral James Norrington frees Elizabeth and her crew from the Dutchman, but is killed by a crazed Bootstrap Bill.

The Pearl arrives at Shipwreck Cove, where Barbossa attempts to persuade the Brethren Court to release Calypso. Davy Jones visits Tia Dalma in the Pearl's brig, revealing she is Calypso. Jack's father Captain Teague, Keeper of the Pirate Code, informs the Court that only an elected Pirate King can declare war. To avoid a stalemate, Jack votes for Elizabeth, making her King. Elizabeth, Jack, Barbossa, Beckett, Jones, and Will parley, trading Will for Jack. Barbossa frees Calypso, but when Will reveals it was Jones who enabled the first Court to imprison her, Calypso vanishes and summons a maelstrom.

The Pearl and Dutchman battle in the maelstrom. Elizabeth and Will are wed by Barbossa. On the Dutchman, Jack and Jones duel for control of Jones' heart. Jones stabs Will, mortally wounding him. Jack helps Will stab the heart, killing Jones, whose body falls into the maelstrom. Jack and Elizabeth escape the Dutchman as it sinks into the maelstrom.

As Beckett's ship, the Endeavour, engages the Pearl, the Dutchman rises from the sea captained by Will; the crew has been freed from Jones' curse. The two pirate ships destroy the Endeavour. A stunned Beckett goes down with his ship while his navy retreats. With Will bound to guide souls lost at sea to the next world, he and Elizabeth bid farewell to each other. Will departs on the Dutchman, leaving Elizabeth pregnant and with the chest containing his heart.

Jack and Joshamee Gibbs discover Barbossa stole the Pearl again, but Jack stole Feng's charts prior after anticipating this. He departs from Tortuga to track down the Fountain of Youth.

In a post-credits scene set ten years later, Elizabeth and her son Henry watch Will return aboard the Dutchman.


Cast

  • Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow: Sparrow and the Black Pearl have been dragged to Davy Jones' Locker by the Kraken; he is trapped there until his former crew mounts a rescue party. He is the Pirate Lord of the Caribbean Sea.
  • Geoffrey Rush as Hector Barbossa: Once first mate of the Black Pearl under Jack's command before leading a mutiny, Barbossa has been resurrected by Tia Dalma to captain the rescue of Jack Sparrow. He was also needed for his "piece of eight" to free Calypso. Rush said that in the film, Barbossa becomes more of a cunning politician. He is the Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea.
  • Orlando Bloom as Will Turner: A young blacksmith-turned-pirate, the son of "Bootstrap Bill" Turner, and later the husband of Elizabeth Swann. Turner becomes Captain of The Flying Dutchman after the ritual is performed to save his life.
  • Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann: Governor Swann's daughter and Will Turner's fiancée. Having tricked Jack Sparrow into being swallowed by the Kraken to save herself and the Black Pearl crew, she subsequently goes to his rescue. Swann becomes Captain of The Empress and Pirate Lord of the South China Seas as successor to Feng, and becomes the Pirate King by default as a result of the Bretheren Court vote.
  • Bill Nighy as Davy Jones: Malevolent ruler of the ocean realm, Captain of The Flying Dutchman. With his heart captured by James Norrington, he is now enslaved to Cutler Beckett who commanded him to kill the Kraken ("your pet"), and now serves the East India Trading Company, though he remains volatile and makes life difficult for the soldiers policing him.
  • Tom Hollander as Cutler Beckett: A powerful chairman of the East India Trading Company and now armed with a mandate from the King and in possession of Davy Jones' heart, Beckett attempts to control the world's oceans for the sake of sustainable business—and to end piracy.
  • Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs: Jack's loyal, if superstitious, first mate.
  • Jack Davenport as James Norrington: Promoted to the rank of admiral in return for giving Beckett Jones' heart, he has allied himself with Beckett and the Company, although he still cares for Elizabeth, his former fiancée, and finds himself torn between his duty and his growing dislike for Beckett.
  • Jonathan Pryce as Weatherby Swann: Governor of Port Royal and father to Elizabeth Swann, he is now trapped in Beckett's service.
  • Naomie Harris as Tia Dalma/Calypso: An obeah witch who travels with the Black Pearl crew to rescue Jack; she also raised Barbossa from the dead at the conclusion of Dead Man's Chest and has a mysterious past connection to Davy Jones.
  • Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook as Pintel and Ragetti: A mischievous and eccentric duo, part of Jack's crew.
  • Stellan Skarsgård as Bootstrap Bill Turner: Will's father, cursed to serve an eternity aboard Davy Jones' ship The Flying Dutchman. As he slowly loses hope, he also loses his humanity to the ship, and becomes mentally confused, barely recognizing his own son in the second half of the film.
  • Chow Yun-fat as Sao Feng: Pirate Lord of the South China Sea, he captains the Chinese ship The Empress and has a poor history with Sparrow. He is reluctant to aid in his rescue from Davy Jones' Locker. "Sao Feng" (嘯風) means "Howling Wind" in Chinese. Chow was confirmed to be playing Feng in July 2005 while production of the second film was on hiatus. Chow relished playing the role, even helping out crew members with props.
  • David Bailie as Cotton: Jack's loyal mute crewman who returns again to join the quest to bring back Sparrow.
  • Martin Klebba as Marty: Jack's dwarf crewman who also joins the quest to bring back Sparrow.
  • David Schofield as Mr. Mercer: Lord Beckett's henchman, assigned to hold Davy Jones' leash aboard the Dutchman.
  • Keith Richards as Edward Teague: Pirate Lord of Madagascar, Keeper of the Pirata Codex for the Brethren Court and Jack Sparrow's father. The other pirate lords are visibly terrified of him. Richards, who partially inspired Depp's portrayal of Sparrow, was meant to appear in Dead Man's Chest, but there was no room for him in the story, as well as his being tied up with a Rolling Stones tour. He almost missed filming a scene in At World's End, following injuries sustained by falling out of a tree. In June 2006, Verbinski finally managed to make room in Richards' schedule to shoot that September.
  • Greg Ellis as Theodore Groves: The second-in-command to Lord Beckett.
  • Lauren Maher and Vanessa Branch as Scarlett and Giselle
  • Angus Barnett and Giles New as Mullroy and Murtogg
  • Reggie Lee as Tai Huang
  • Ghassan Massoud as Captain Ammand, the Pirate Lord of the Black Sea
  • Marcel Iureș as Capitaine Chevalle, the Pirate Lord of the Mediterranean Sea
  • Sergio Calderón as Captain Eduardo Villanueva, Pirate Lord of the Adriatic Sea
  • Takayo Fischer as Mistress Ching, the Pirate Lord of the Pacific Ocean
  • Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Captain Jocard, the Pirate Lord of the Atlantic Ocean
  • Marshall Manesh as Sri Sumbhajee Angria, Pirate Lord of the Indian Ocean
  • Dominic Scott Kay as Young Henry Turner: the son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. Scott Kay was credited as Young William Turner, and was retroactively named Young Henry Turner following the release of Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Production

Development

"I felt it important that the third film was the end of an era — like in a postmodern western where the railroad comes and the gunfighter is extinct. It seemed that we had an opportunity to take a look at a world where the legitimate has become corrupt and there is no place for honest thieves in that society, so you have darker issues and a little melancholy. The myths are dying. That seemed a great theme with which to complete the trilogy."

—Gore Verbinski

Following The Curse of the Black Pearl's success in 2003, the cast and crew signed on for two sequels to be shot back-to-back. For the third film, director Gore Verbinski wanted to return the tone to that of a character piece after using the second film to keep the plot moving. Inspired by the real-life confederation of pirates, Elliott and Rossio looked at historical figures and created fictional characters from them to expand the scope beyond the main cast. Finally embellishing their mythology, Calypso was introduced, going full circle to Barbossa's mention of "heathen gods" that created the curse in the first film.

Filming

Parts of the third film were shot during location filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, a long shoot which finished on March 1, 2006. During August 2005, the Singapore sequence was shot. The set was built on Stage 12 of the Universal Studios backlot, and comprised 40 structures within an 80 by 130-foot (24 by 40-m) tank that was 3+1⁄2 feet (1.1 m) deep. As 18th century Singapore is not a well-documented era, the filmmakers chose to use an Expressionist style based on Chinese and Malaysian cities of the same period. The design of the city was also intended by Verbinski to parody spa culture, with fungi growing throughout the set. Continuing this natural feel, the floorboards of Sao Feng's bathhouse had to be cut by hand, and real humidity was created by the combination of gallons of water and the lighting equipment on the set.

Filming resumed on August 3, 2006, at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah for 70 days off the California coast, as all the shooting required in the Caribbean had been conducted in 2005. Davy Jones' Locker was shot at Utah, and it was shot in a monochromatic way to represent its different feeling from the usual colorful environment of a pirate. The climactic battle was shot in a former air hangar at Palmdale, California, where the cast had to wear wetsuits underneath their costumes on angle-tipped ships. The water-drenched set was kept in freezing temperatures, to make sure bacteria did not come inside and infect the crew. A second unit was shot at Niagara Falls. Industrial Light & Magic did 750 effects shots, while Digital Domain also took on 300. They spent just five months finishing the special effects. The film posed numerous challenges in creating water-based effects.

Filming finished on December 12, 2006, in Molokai, and the first assembly cut was three hours. Twenty minutes were removed, not including end credits, though producer Jerry Bruckheimer maintained that the long running time was needed to make the final battle work in terms of build-up.


Music

Hans Zimmer composed the score, as he did for the previous films, and wrote the music for The Simpsons Movie at the same time. Zimmer composed eight new motifs, including a new love theme for the At World's End soundtrack. He scored scenes as the editors began work, so as to influence their choice of cutting to the music. Gore Verbinski helped on the score. He played the Ennio Morricone-influenced guitar music in the parley scene between Barbossa, Sparrow, Elizabeth and Will, Davy Jones, and Cutler Beckett. He also co-wrote the song "Hoist the Colours" with Zimmer.


Marketing

After a muted publicity campaign, the trailer finally debuted at ShoWest 2007. It was shown on March 18, 2007, at a special screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl named "Pirates Ultimate Fan Event", and was then shown on March 19 during Dancing with the Stars, before it debuted online. Action figures by NECA were released in late April. Board games such as a Collector's Edition Chess Set, a Monopoly Game, and a Pirates Dice Game (Liar's Dice) were also released. Master Replicas made sculptures of characters and replicas of jewellery and the Dead Man's Chest. A video game with the same title as the film was released on May 22, 2007, on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PSP, PlayStation 2, PC, and Nintendo DS formats. The soundtrack and its remix were also released on May 22.


Release

Theatrical

The world premiere of At World's End was held on May 19, 2007, at Disneyland, home of the ride that inspired the film and where the first two films in the trilogy debuted. Disneyland offered the general public a chance to attend the premiere through the sale of tickets, priced at $1,500 per ticket, with proceeds going to the Make-a-Wish Foundation charity. Just a few weeks before the film's release, Walt Disney Pictures decided to move the United States opening of At World's End from screenings Friday, May 25, 2007, to Thursday at 8 pm, May 24, 2007. The film opened in 4,362 theaters domestically, beating Spider-Man 3's theater opening record by 110 (this record was surpassed by The Dark Knight the following year).

Censorship

At least one nation's official censors ordered scenes cut from the film. According to Xinhua, the state news agency of the People's Republic of China, ten minutes of footage containing Chow Yun-fat's portrayal of Singaporean pirate Sao Feng were trimmed from versions of the film which may be shown in China. Chow is onscreen for twenty minutes in the uncensored theatrical release of the film. No official reason for the censorship was given, but unofficial sources within China have indicated that the character gave a negative and stereotypical portrayal of Chinese people.

Home media

The film was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on November 19, 2007, in the UK and December 4, 2007, in the United States and Canada. The 2-Disc Limited Edition DVD was in continuous circulation until it stopped on September 30, 2008. In contrast, the Blu-ray Disc release, containing all of the features from the 2-Disc DVD version (including some original scenes from the theatrical release, but excluding the writer's commentary) is still widely available. The initial Blu-ray Disc release was misprinted on the back of the box as 1080i, although Disney confirmed it to be 1080p. Disney decided not to recall the misprinted units, but to fix the error on subsequent printings. DVD sales brought in $296,043,871 in revenue, marking the best-selling DVD of 2007, although it ranks second in terms of units sold (14,505,271) behind Transformers (16,234,195). At World's End had its television premiere in the UK on Boxing Day 2009 on BBC One at 19:30, and was watched by 6.06 million viewers.


Reception

Critical response

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 44% based on 228 reviews, with an average rating of 5.46/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "POTC: AWE provides the thrilling action scenes, but mixes in too many characters with too many incomprehensible plot threads." At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating to reviews, the film received an average score of 50 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.

Drew McWeeny praised the film's complexity as giving it repeat-viewing value, and its conclusion as "perhaps the most canny move it makes." Todd Gilchrist found the story too similar to other cinematic trilogies such as Star Wars, but praised the production values. Brian Lowry felt that "unlike last year's bloated sequel, it at least possesses some semblance of a destination, making it slightly more coherent – if no less numbing during the protracted finale." Total Film praised the performances but complained that the twists and exposition made it hard to care for the characters. Edward Douglas liked the film but had issues with its pacing, while Blake Wright criticized the Davy Jones' Locker and Calypso segments. James Berardinelli found it the weakest of the trilogy as "the last hour offers adventure as rousing as anything provided in either of the previous installments... which doesn't account for the other 108 minutes of this gorged, self-indulgent, and uneven production." Peter Travers praised Richards and Rush but felt "there can indeed be too much of a good thing," regarding Depp's character. Travers later declared the movie to be one of the worst films of the year. Colm Andrew of the Manx Independent said the film was overall a disappointment and that "the final showdown ... is a non-event and the repetitive swordplay and inane plot contrivances simply become boring by the end". Richard Roeper gave a positive review, saying "Gore Verbinski and the stunt and special effects crews have created one of the most impressive blends of live-action work and CGI wizardry ever put on film," and believing it "rarely drags and is almost always entertaining." He praised the performances of the actors as one of the best things about the film.

Chow Yun-fat's character stirred controversy with the Chinese press. Perry Lam, of Hong Kong cultural magazine Muse, found an offensive resemblance between Chow's character and Fu Manchu: "Now Fu Manchu has returned after an absence of 27 years in the Hollywood cinema; except that, in a nod to political correctness and marketing realities, he is no longer called Fu Manchu."

Box office

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End earned $309,420,425 in North America and $654,000,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $963,420,425. It is the highest-grossing film of 2007 and the third-highest-grossing film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Compared to its predecessor, it grossed far less at the North American box office, but more outside North America. Still, its worldwide earnings are more than $100 million below Dead Man's Chest's. During its worldwide opening weekend, it grossed $344.0 million, making it the seventh-largest opening.

At World's End was released in a then-record 4,362 theaters in North America, and was shown on around 11,500 screens, which is still an all-time record. On its first three-day weekend, it earned $114,732,820. It set a Memorial Day 4-day weekend record ($139,802,190), which it still retains. This record was previously held by X-Men: The Last Stand. Including Thursday night previews, as well, At World's End earned $153,042,234 in 5 days, and is the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2007. Among May's Big Three (Spider-Man 3, Shrek 3 and Pirates 3), Pirates 3 grossed the least both during its opening weekend and in total earnings. However, this was mainly attributed to the fact that it was released third, after the other two films, so there was already too much competition. It is also the second-highest-grossing film in the Pirates series.

It is the eighteenth-highest-grossing film, the sixth-largest film distributed by Disney, and the second-highest-grossing Pirates of the Caribbean film. During its opening weekend, it grossed an estimated $216.0 million, which stands as the sixth biggest opening outside North America. It set opening-weekend records in South Korea with $16.7 million (surpassed by Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Russia, and the CIS with $14.0 million (first surpassed by Samy luchshiy film), and Spain with $11.9 million (surpassed by The Impossible). It dominated for three consecutive weekends at the box office outside North America. By June 12, 2007, its 20th day of release, the film had grossed $500 million, breaking Spider-Man 3's record for reaching that amount the fastest. This record was first overtaken by Avatar (15 days to $500 million). Its highest-grossing countries after North America are Japan, where it earned $91.1 million, and became the last Hollywood film to earn more than 10 billion yen before Avatar, and the UK, Ireland, Malta ($81.4 million), and Germany ($59.4 million).

Accolades

At the 80th Academy Awards, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was nominated for two awards, Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects. However, it didn't win either of the two, losing the former to La Vie en rose and the latter to The Golden Compass.

At the 2008 MTV Movie Awards, the film was nominated for three awards, including one win: the Best Comedic Performance (Johnny Depp). At the 34th People's Choice Awards, it was nominated for five awards, including four wins: Favorite Movie, Favorite Threequel, Favorite Male Movie Star (Johnny Depp) and Favorite Female Action Star (Keira Knightley). Also, at the Teen Choice Awards it won five awards, out of six nominations. Finally, at the 2008 Kids' Choice Awards, it achieved three nominations but won only the Favorite Movie Actor award (Johnny Depp). However, Orlando Bloom was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor.