Last night I went to see At World's End with thewhiteowl ...I haven't recovered enough to assimilate it all properly, so this is going to be a very bewildered first-reactions type of post rather than any kind of reasonable review...spoilers in pretty much every line, I would say.
It was the 8 o'clock showing we were in...absolutely bunged, audience included a party of two adults and seven children. Why would anyone bring that on themselves? The boss usher had a t-shirt with a sparkly skull-in-a-red-bandana. Me want. There was a pretty good atmosphere and everyone clapped at the end...except the two of us, I think. Although I reckon I wuold have, if it hadn't been for the painful shock I had just undergone—
First of all—WHAT WERE THEY DOING AND WHY DID THEY THINK IT WOULD MAKE ANYONE HAPPY?!? Okay, having got that off my chest, I will say that I did enjoy the film. Just in case I mourn too much and you all think that I absolutely hated it. I didn't hate it...I didn't understand it, but for most of the way through I liked what I was watching at the moment I was watching it, but was completely incapable of coherently relating the different strands together.
Once again, keep out of the politics. Pirate-type politics (lots of yelling and waving of swords) I can cope with, but all the wheeling and dealing at the start completely lost me. What I got out of it amounted to: Sao Feng is dealing with Beckett to keep alive and in business, and Will is dealing with Sao Feng to get the Pearl, which for some reason he thinks Sao will acquire...not quite sure what either of them were bargaining with but, you know, whatever works for them. Sao Feng, meanwhile, (possibly as part of the Will-deal) helps Barbossa to get to World's End. So far, so good, but at the point where Sao turns up at Dead Kraken Island (what with the imaginativeness of pirates, you know that's what they'll call it) and Will leads mutinies and everyone wants Elizabeth, I haven't a clue. All the ship-swapping messed with my head so much that I couldn't tell you who was where if I tried; it only started to make (a little, relative) sense again after Sao Feng died—what was with him and Elizabeth, by the way? I hope that another viewing will help me to understand a bit better, but I reckon I'm going to need the script and a couple of paracetamol before I get very far. I have the tablets; anyone offering a script would be very welcome. (You know, I think this could have worked a lot better as two shorter, more filled-out and character-rather-than-battle driven films. But oh well.)
Right. Things I loved...
The animals. The monkey puts its paws over its ears!
Davy Jones' Locker. Jacks enough for everyone! We're being followed by stones. (Also liked mini-Jacks later on, and the multiple Jacks amused me—Nobody move! I've dropped me brain!—but...okay, will talk about that further on).
Jack's entrance on the Pearl, standing at the mast as she sails over the sands—wonderful.
Jack's reaction to seeing them, and his selection process for who gets to stay with him.
The tea-drinking scene with Will, Beckett and Jones. A-mazing.
The line about thinking like Jack, and Jack's dismissal of what Will is doing—which is pretty much exactly what he is also trying to do—I liked a lot.
Oh, and Think like Will, think like Will, thinklikeWillthinklikeWilltihnklikeWill—l
Barbossa and Jack—yup, glad they're back. Was it just me, or did Barbossa call Jack either "lad" or "son" at one point?
Ooh, the bit at the start with them all singing. Major shivers. Although, killing small cute boy=not cool. Bad Beckett.
The wedding. Humour (Barbossa's line about being a bit occupied...wish I could get it verbatim); Will and Elizabeth being in love (they danced through the battle!); a perfect ironic contrast to the would-have-been wedding of DMC and a repeatedly-interrupted kiss in the rain. Loved it.
The Captain Hook-esque French pirate. Just because. Also the falsetto pirate. And Madam Cheng, was it? And Pieces of whatever-we-had-on-us-at-the-time and...most of the Pirate Court.
Will. In general. May have irritatingly got caught at the start, but things improved rapidly, questionable treachery notwithstanding. The earring surprised me, but actually, I like. Apparently he's getting over his anti-pirate tendencies, then. And he's snarky and funny, and he's got so clever and he still loves Elizabeth and he takes fool's chances and it depends on the day and how can anyone say he isn't beautiful? I think I must have whispered I LOVE Will at least eight times during the course of the film. Can't I marry him instead? Please? No, seriously.
Norrington making a choice.
Our destinies have always been together, but never entwined. Or something like that. It breaketh my heart. Norrington, I love you. I may not love you quite as much as I do Will, but just forget about Elizabeth and we'll see if we can't do some destiny-entwining.
Elizabeth's reaction to seeing her father, and that whole conversation, and Will holding her at the end. Actually that whole dreamy-creepy part, with the souls floating through the water and the little boats.
Jack's expression when Will is stabbed. The fact that he chooses Will over immortality.
The parachute. May have been dripping tears at the time, but it did crack me up.
Barbossa baby-talking Jack-the-monkey.
"Mrs. Turner." I love those two together.
The flash of green. I thought the song mentioned Fiddler's Green and practically hit the cinema ceiling, but maybe it was that, instead. Or maybe I just invented the green part.
The minor characters...loved Ragetti and Pintel having so much screen-time. The lines about a good reason for all this and Ragetti being able to say it properly like a lover when Barbossa couldn't. Murtogg and Mulroy (still don't know which is which) being just the same as they always are, and turning into pirates. Heh.
"How's Mum?" Although I would have preferred her to be alive somewhere, maybe a pirate herself, maybe threatening to smack Jack around the head if he misbehaves. Maybe the shrivelled head was metaphorical =)
Elizabeth's pirate speech. It stank of Wensleydale but I still enjoyed it, and the little look between her. Ooh, and the part where all the pirate flags went up was fantastic. Great shot.
Things I hated
Okay, here it comes. Norrington dying. How could they do that to us? I love him! And he was saving Elizabeth, and he still loved her (so glad he got a hug&kiss anyway) and he was going to go with her and be a pirate and why didn't you hang onto the rope and then shoot it, you silly boy? He was being redeemed and noble and...why? He didn't even get a big death scene, although (through my tears) I loved that he didn't fear death.
Groves sticking with Beckett. This is what Gillette is for (he not being the one who appreciates the fact that Jack is made of awesome) and seriously messes with the as-yet-unwritten gigantic OC story in my head. Theo, be good.
Will and Elizabeth being parted. Don't do it! Just...don't! They were meant ot be together...okay, so maybe the fairytale end of CotBP would never have worked, but what's to stop them king-of-the-pirates-ing around the world in a ship, together?
Calypso. Didn't feel necessary to goddessify her...I liked her just as pretty scary witch lady with cool accent who has lots of mysterious back history and almost killed Jack (in a way enjoyable at the time). Also she didn't really do much. Big storm, yay. Sure there were hurricanes and things before, so what's the excitement there?
The confusion of character arcs.
Don't get me wrong, I'm very glad that Jack/Elizabeth is not the way that things went, but it all seemed very...hushed up. Her You thought I loved him? was a bit too incredulous and Jack has done a complete turnabout, from Elizabeth being the thing he wants most in the world, to not even wanting to kiss her. Of course, the fact that she's a lovely murderess may explain a lot, but I wasn't satisfied with how they concluded that, after all the build-up in DMC—and I'm not even a J/E shipper. Also rather vexed by her evident desire to get in a bit of Jack-action immediately prior to her wedding-afternoon with Will.
Calypso and Jones confused me. If she loved him so much, why didn't she wait? All that nonsense about it being her nature just doesn't cut it. They were both insisting they loved the other, but ended up trying to kill them instead.
Things about which I am a little conflicted
Bootstrap's craziness. I just don't...understand. What was the point of it? The fact that he killed Norrington during one of his mad parts may bump this up to a "thing I hated" but I need to think about it more.
Governor Swann dying. Did make for interesting reactions, but he was such a funny little Governor in the first one, and I would have liked him to survive to pester Elizabeth for a while longer.
The multiple and mini Jacks. I laughed lots, yes, but I didn't like the insinuation that Jack is still three peanuts short of a cookie. (Also: why peanuts?) There were a few too many Locker-real world connections, what with actual, corporeal crabs and peanuts and what-not floating around. I was just waiting for the goat. Jack...isn't CotBP Jack, I don't think. There were moments when I thought, "Yup, here he comes, he's in control" but I'm not sure. Maybe, though...after all, didn't understand all the counter-plotting in CotBP at the beginning, and Will did say Maybe he does know what he's doing after all, which I loved. I like to think the three of them were in on a lot of the plans together, because otherwise their friendships are a very tenuous thing...but despite Jack betraying Will and Will wanting to kill Jack and Elizabeth aactually killing Jack and all the rest of it, Will did call Jack a good man and Jack did save Will's...un-life.
Will as Davy Jones. Hated it to start with, but in the cold light of day I'm coming around...a little. Still don't see why Jack couldn't have stabbed the heart five minutes earlier, saved Will, got himself immortalised and let the other pair fight it out with Barbossa over the Pearl.
Last night (it may have been something to do with me being very tired and having done a three hour exam and other stuff happening) I was in shock and pretty much heart broken about Will and Elizabeth and Norrington and Groves, but now I reckon I can rationalise a lot of the problems away.
Groves...well, at least he did abandon ship, so there is no evidence that he died. I could probably redeem him, if I felt so inclined.
Will and Elizabeth...oh, I did want them to live happily ever after! And since she apparently ended up on land, wearing a very respectable dress, anyway, she might as well have done it with Will. However, there are a number of redeeming points about the whole thing.
1) What's to say she can't go on the Dutchman? Bootstrap is no longer cursed, and he doesn't seem to have a problem with it.
2) Even if Bootstrap can only do it virtue of having previously been cursed and she can't do the whole Styx round trip, she can clearly visit. Mortals were hopping all over the Dutchman for most of AWE, so there's no real reason why Will shouldn't save up all the souls until he has a full bus—ship, whatever—do the dead-run and then come back to pick her up.
3) Buckets of water. Nuff said. So glad they put in that bit with Davy on the sandbank with his feet in a water-trough. Seriously, some day I'm going to write the story of that little boy (I'm thinking he's going to be called William James, Jamie for short because the credits don't count as canon) and I'm going to call it Daddy lives in the Bathtub. No joke.
4) Other ships. Surely Davy materialised into the Pearl to visit Tia Dalma? What's to stop Elizabeth getting her junk-thing back and sailing around after the Dutchman—while it's in the real world?
5) They're all immortal. Well, they did have their hands on the knife together, and make-up certainly didn't do much of a job of making Keira look thirty...as my sister said, you can get a pretty good lifetime together in one day every ten years for eternity. This one's not likely, but just throwing it out there.
6) Was it Bootstrap or Tia or Governor Swann or any combination who said about the new captain having to stay for eternity? In this scenario I'm explaining it away by Bootstrap probably still being crazy, Tia being in one of her I-hate-everybody-and-they're-gonna-pay moods and the Governor just being...confused. Anyway, I heard a rumour that T&T actually only intended Will to have to stay on the thing for ten years, providing he did it properly and Elizabeth stayed faithful, in which case the post-credits bit is him coming home for good. In that case, does he still stay immortal or do they have to find a really good surgeon? (ETA: Apparently this is the case, but the people working on the film, not being so bright, didn't realise that explaining this would be, you know, important, so they cut it.)
Now I think of it, who even knew it was going to work that way? As I understood it, Davy was only meant to have to do it for ten years...but then, he still had his heart until Calypso ditched him and he cut it out himself. So in that case, if the curse and blablabla was all personal to DJ rather than the FD, why did Will's heart have to be cut out? There's no precedent.
Also, that kid? Does not look nine and a quarter years old ;)
And as for Norrington...so, Jack/Elizabeth—your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find another deity-bound-in-human-form and get them to resurrect James. Or he can come back as a nighly sarcastic ghost and act as childminder for the mini-Wills. Excellent.
Things I predicted
Tia Dalma as Davy Jones' woman. Yup, had that one pretty much pegged from the moment she started talking about a wo-man with that proud expression on her face. Tia Dalma as Calypso I also guessed, but that one was kinda obvious as soon as that name was mentioned. Although not, apparently, to Sao Feng. Muppet.
Will as captain of a ship, any ship. I only got to the point of that ship at the second viewing, when a touch of destiny started to ring very bad bells.
Norrington being back in the braid and doing Beckett's bidding. I'm so glad that he got some backbone and recognised it was wrong—oh, also loved the little glance between him and the Governor—which I wasn't convinced they would put in, but again, why did he have to die?
And some stuff about the characters...
I think I've actually said most of what I want to...he's hilarious, even more so than in DMC, but he didn't quite make it back up to the level of puppet-master; Will was as close to that role, which is pretty impressive considering he started out life an apparently clueless puppet. I do hope that a lot of that crazy was just a cover, but the real-world hallucinations did bother me. When I first heard the rumour that he was going to finish up as he began, I was irritated, but I think I can live with it. Jack always has to be on a quest, and we all know he'll be reunited with the Pearl at some stage. If the ten-years-only stuff is true, maybe Jack can have a go as CotFD...although, if the heart-out curse was specifically DJ's, would the new captain necessarily be immortal? I love funny Jack and crazy Jack, but I think I love him most when he is quiet and you can see his brain working (although not literally, as in the case of Jack-in-the-wall) and he has emotions and cleverness and...awesome.
What's with Elizabeth-the-kissometer? More importantly, just what does she think of James and Jack? I think with James, she previously liked and respected him very much as a friend, as someone who would always be willing to help her if necessary. She was clearly thrilled to see him on...whatever ship they were on at that point, and her reaction to his death was great. I hate that he died, but I'm glad they at least acknowledged it that much. With respect to Jack, I don't know what is going on...she doesn't love him (never thought she did—actualy worked out a few nights ago the ridiculously short amount of time they had spent in each other's company during CotBP and DMC) but she was evidently attracted to him in DMC and don't think it was all gone by AWE.
Elizabeth the pirate king I'm not sure about, although I was glad that captaincy and kingship were thrust upon her, leaving her astonished and rather unwilling. (Oh, also loved "And I can't believe I'm about to say these words...Captain Swann.") I'm really looking forward to seeing what fanfic writers come up with for her interim occupation...can't see her giving up on pirating completely.
As I think I may have said after DMC, Will is becoming, in some respects, more like Jack all the time...and I suspect that given the practice, he'll be just as effective at it. He'll never have the insanity, but I've thought for quite some time that he is too good at giving orders and being obeyed not to make a great ship captain. That's one of the few things that was good about the ending—Will in his bandana at the wheel of the Dutchman gave me shivers...or that may just have been the hint we got of his bee-yew-ti-ful smile.
I loved that we got to see Will being intelligent and so, so snarky—the tea scene is going in as one of my favourites ever, mostly because of the way Orlando played it. I hadn't finished that: he's going up against Davy Jones and coming off the better...until the encounter with Norrington's sword, of course.
I can't decide how I feel about the submerging of Will's purely good character, or even to what extent it occurred. His motives are still good and he is clearly still devoted to Elizabeth, or wants to be if she will let him. His naivety and innocence are gone, but he still has ideals and morals and all the other things that were associated with him in the first film, I think.
What would have been interesting to see is what choice he would have made, had it been left to him. For a lot of the film Bootstrap seemed to take equal or higher priority than Elizabeth...but once he knew what the price was, would he have insisted on keeping his promise himself (he does refer to it when he pins Bootstrap to the railing) or would he have closed on the Jack deal?
And, on a purely prettiness-appreciation level—bandana, good; earring, good; the smile at the end when he is coming back to Elizabeth and child for good, good! *happy sigh*
So yeah, if the CotFD was only meant to be a temporary post, that ending I can live with a lot better—ten years of bucket-and-boat visits, then he comes home. Although the other makes an interesting AU plot-bunny breeding ground.
You see? Cold light of day, nine hours sleep and author confirmation that Will and Elizabeth were meant to end up actually as well as technically together, and I'm feeling so much better about this film that I probably will be returning for that second viewing. Great!
I'll be back...I'm sure I'll remember plenty more I wanted to say.
I'll be back...I'm sure I'll remember plenty more I wanted to say.
Current Mood: indescribable
Current Music: He's a Pirate