Getting Psyched for POTC: At World's End

So I've got readers emailing me this link with commentary along the lines of "HOLY FREAKING CRAP" (that's a direct quote).

It's the first trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

Watch Trailer

And it is indeed pretty freakin' cool.

(Some folks got to see this at the POTC Ultimate Fan Event held last weekend around the country, as Cargill wrote about earlier this week. I think they did this in NYC -- why was I not there? What could possibly have been more important than being there?)

I'm still in awe, now three movies into this series, that this all actually worked out so well, that a theme park ride became what is surely destined to be one of the great movie series of all time, if it isn't too soon to say that for sure. I feel like a kid again, feel like I felt as a 14-year-old fangirl waiting anxiously to find out just how the hell Luke and Leia were going to rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt.

Yes, I have a strange and fannish definition of "great movie series." I'm probably a genuine anomaly among film critics in that my favorite kinds of movies are big, blustery studio films. Most of them suck, of course, but when they're done right, as with the POTC flicks, I don't have a better time at the movies. What can I say? I'm a child of the decline of Western civilization.

I don't want to spoil the film or even the trailer it for you -- cuz you need to go watch it now if you're any kind of fanboy or -girl yourself -- but it doesn't really give anything away to tell you that it looks like Jack Sparrow has indeed escaped from the metaphorical carbonite he found himself in at the end of Dead Man's Chest. We all knew that was gonna happen. And all the other stuff you expect to be there is there, too, all the signifiers that have come to say "Pirates of the Caribbean": Jack's compass, the evil little undead monkey, cool swordfighting, Orlando Bloom gazing moon-eyed at Keira Knightley, and so on.

But there are also enticingly teasing snippets of some of the most amazing imagery I've ever seen -- you need to see it for yourself, but I'll tell you that they're not kidding with this world's-end stuff. And that's what I really love about this series, how it totally embraces its own unreality and so makes us fully believe in this fantasy realm, no matter how outrageous it gets. That's a rare thing even among fantasy movies, and part of why they usually fail: they don't believe in themselves. This one does.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End opens on May 25th. Even the knowledge that I'll get to see it a little sooner than that can't ease my fangirl jitters. I can't wait.

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MaryAnn Johanson
author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride
minder of FlickFilosopher.com