The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Things I Utterly, Totally Loved About POTC:AWE

I didn't read LJ at all last night for fear of being spoiled, but I know there are some people who've been griping (as well as a number of newspaper critics), and I just want to say that I loved Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End pretty unreservedly. I mean, PIRATE KING ELIZABETH! When she dressed up as a boy last time out and ran away to sea, I was happy enough (DMC felt to me like it dragged more than this one did -- Jackson's King Kong is my gold standard for "oh fuck, is it still going, shoot me now," which perhaps is why Spider-Man 3 etc. seemed absolutely spry to me, but even at nearly three hours, AWE did not seem too long). Fine, it's very shallow and has inconsistencies both in itself (like, hadn't Will's heart stopped beating before they put it in the chest) and with the first two movies (plus let's not even get started on things like actual history and ship design), because... Walking skeletons! Sea monsters! The Afterlife! Keith Richards!

And the world is flat! Though Beckett's is flatter than Barbossa's, and even though it's impossible to take this movie seriously as a political allegory despite the list at the beginning of suspended rights under President Bush -- excuse me, under the East India Company-controlled crown -- it's very enjoyable that the parts of this movie that are not about a woman who's so much smarter than all the men around her that she ends up their leader are about the evils of capitalist imperialism and colonialism. As fluff, it brushes past me with fewer annoyances than Lord of the Rings and King Kong with their scary dark people or Harry Potter where men are men, purebloods are purebloods even if there's an occasional powerful halfblood, and women are very much supporting cast. Or maybe I'm rationalizing, since sure Singapore is as full of stereotypes and cliches as the cannibals from DMC, but it's all in fun and Elizabeth rocks my world.

Plus several other things were so well done, like Jack Sparrow's fully developed love affair with Jack Sparrow, Davy Jones' moment of human redemption before his fall into the deep, the magnificent ice-scapes and waterscapes and No Exit and Elizabeth finally realizing that it's not that she wants Jack so much as she wants his ship and his freedom. And the perfect resolution to the Will-and-Elizabeth I-want-you-but-I'm-a-pirate dilemma...Will gets to go be the responsible upright citizen he always was as Captain of the Flying Dutchman, and Elizabeth gets to do whatever the hell she wants, sail the seas and see the world and have the husband without being burdened by him. (I feel sorry for the kid with the absentee father, but that's got to be better than a dead parent, anyway, which is what Will grew up believing he had and wasn't terribly uncommon in that era.)

I could watch Johnny Depp acting opposite Johnny Depp all day, though in some ways Geoffrey Rush owns this movie. And while I'm a teeny bit bummed that Norrington's part was so small, he was pretty peripheral to the story, he died well, and I am just going to assume that Will picked him up en route to the afterlife and the two of them are partying it up on the Flying Dutchman. And, um, if you hated the movie or thought it was a monumental disappointment, I don't actually want to hear why, and if you're one of the "Orlando Bloom sucks and I take every opportunity to say so" people, save it for people who actually agree!

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