Year Released: 2007
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Kiera Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush
(PG-13, 165 min.)
"There is strength in the union even of very sorry men." Homer
Like your favorite haunt, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, is comfortably familiar, yet exotic and thrilling all the same. It’s the only third-time-around flick of the summer that doesn’t somehow disappoint, partly because its stellar cast is headed by beloved rogue Captain Jack Sparrow, who insists the audience have as much fun as he does.
Johnny Depp, putting his signature swish in swash buckling, of course, owns the film, even if he can’t quite reclaim his ownership of the elusive Black Pearl, that queen of the waves so cruelly stolen from him by now Captain Barbossa. (Geoffrey Rush). As a matter of fact, he does have a ship of sorts at his current digs, but the white dessert that surrounds it doesn’t offer much chance for capturing bountiful booty or beautiful babes. Oh, the horrors of Davy Jones’ locker, where in addition to a sandy sea, Captain Jack Sparrow is locked for eternity with a most loathsome companion – himself. Or rather, with several of them, in various sizes and conditions, trying to grab his last peanut or persuade the other Captain Jacks to rise up in mutiny against him.
Lucky for him, things in the real world have gotten about as bad as they can – at least from the pirate perspective. The evil East Indian Trading Company is on the verge of wiping out any competitors in the swindling business, and under the velvet-gloved villainy of Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), working hand in hand with the Tentacled One (Bill Nighy as Davy Jones) and his indestructible Flying Dutchman, no buccaneer is safe. The opening sequence offers up an assembly line gallows for an endless string of the great unwashed, adjustments in height being made for the doomed youth not tall enough to reach the noose.
To save the world – or at least their fun loving ways on the high seas – the nine pirate lords must unite to fight the great British oppressors. (Film critic Eleanor Ringel Gillespie aptly recognizes “Disney's revisionist version, where pirates are fun-loving rogues who only want to be free, not nasty thugs who sink ships, rape women and then murder all on board.")
Thus, Captain Jack Sparrow, detestable as he may be, must be brought back from his own personal hell in Davy Jones’ Locker. An added bonus here is the trip to Old Singapore to enlist the aid of Captain Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat), who in addition to his scarred face, shaved head and Fu Manchu moustache, instills the same dread we have come to expect from his martial arts ventures. But the ever beautiful and abundantly courageous Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) stands firm, wins his admiration and an unexpected bequest from the Singapore Sinbad that puts her suddenly in the ranks of Pirate Lords.
The trip to World’s End and back is filled with almost as much intrigue as the back rooms in central casting, where treachery and secret shenanigans rule the day, and even some square-jawed manly types get caught up in the corruption. The belching cannons, the fiery decks smoldering under attack, a broiling sea trying to swallow them whole are but a backdrop to such superior swordsmanship as to put Captain Blood to shame.
As a matter of fact, I’m quite sure that somewhere out there a not altogether sober Errol Flynn is raising his glass to honor this crew, whose antics on screen are but a reminder of his well chronicled off screen buccaneering.
My first culinary suggestion involves Singapore, the dark bastion of the fearsome pirate Captain Sao Feng, its inky Venetian waterways and rambling bamboo bridgework the antithesis of the modern glittering jewel of current Singapore. Given the united stand the nine pirate lords seek; noodles are a most appropriate dish, as those many strands of pasta stand for unity. Take a stroll through modern Singapore and watch an expert chef prepare this most delicate of hand made pasta, La-Mian, if you please.
But what this rollicking film really calls for is rum and plenty of it, if I can take my lead from Captain Jack. In fact, rum was “…once so important that the British Navy gave every sailor a half-pint a day ration.” Just imagine what the pirates demanded!
I have chosen what I like to call Marauder’s Mojito, based on the national drink of Cuba. Certainly there is no pirate who has taken more booty and prisoners than dear old Fidel, and it seems that Jack, guided by a map to the fountain of youth, is headed in the vicinity of that island paradise at film’s end.
The National Drink of Cuba - Here's to you Fidel!
- 1 1/2oz. Light Rum
- 1 oz. Lime Juice
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- 3-4 Mint Leaves
- Club Soda
Combine lime juice, mint and sugar in a Collins or highball glass.
Stir gently to bruise the mint.
Fill glass 3/4 with ice.
Add the rum.
Top with soda. Stir well.
Recipe Source: Drink of the Week. com