It's been quite an interesting journey with these pirates. What started as a surprising hit with the first installment has gone on to become a trilogy that rivals the recent "Lord of the Rings" trilogy in popularity. Fans worldwide seemingly can't get enough of Jack Sparrow and the gang and now they're in luck as the third installment has arrived before us, entitled "At World's End."
Returning to sail alongside our swashbuckling heroes is Hans Zimmer, who bring his own spirit of adventure with him as the composer of the film. While the debate about the style of music he brings to these sagas continue to be a point of emphasis, I've taken the approach of just sitting back and enjoying the exciting tunes that each of these movies offered. I also feel that the combination of his modern voice alongside the action of the the time period come together nicely. As they say, opposites do attract, after all.
First off, I want to make it known that this particular score is the best, most complete entry in the 'Pirates' series. Going in, all you have to do is to keep an open mind and let the music engage you as there is plenty of exciting material to dive into. In a recent interview with ScoreNotes, Zimmer himself states that he was able to open up the reigns with this entry and it sure shows.
"At World's End" brings us brand new themes that are introduced in this final chapter and each are simply fantastic. Zimmer's writing here is spot on, full of melodic and heroic chords. These new themes receive spot duty during most of the album but comes together superbly in the score's final track
, offering an appealing point of emphasis that will make you want to listen to the score all over again.
As far as the original 'Pirates' theme -- that's represented in the score as well, though it's used strategically. There's always a risk of going to the well too often in creating musical works for a film with sequels, but Zimmer avoids the temptation here. Both Zimmer and the director agreed to approach this film with fresh material. In fact, I feel that this album can stand on its own independent of the first two offerings as a complete listening experience.
For you action music aficionados, you'll be treated to a wealth of it here. As I have heard that the film spares no expense as far as scope, neither does the music with its bold notes. I was impressed by how cohesive the action cues are and also a bit overwhelmed by the epic treatment that these sequences led to. This score is larger than life, and that's how it should be when dealing with a final installment for a film series such as this. In short, I felt resuscitated with this score as it's one of the few I have heard in quite some time that wasn't afraid to open up and air it out. When all this energy is combined with the moving new theme, the statements from the previous two movies and choral movements at just the right time, you'll find yourself totally engrossed in what is one of the year's best soundtracks.
When we look back at the scores for all three of these movies, I'll say that "At World's End" is the one that deserves the most accolades. While the previous two entries were entertaining in their own rights (with a slight nod given to "Curse of the Black Pearl"), this effort, well, blows them out of the water!
Finally, if the movie is anywhere near as entertaining as the soundtrack, then we're in for a grandiose sendoff. As it is, we've already received one from the composer. Well done, Mr. Zimmer and team!