The only point that's completely clear in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (168 mins, 12A) is that the people who murder and pillage for a living are the good guys, while the people who want to uphold the law are the bad guys, presumably because they have smart uniforms and drink lots of tea. Beyond that, it would take more than a map and a compass to navigate your way from one end of the plot to the other.
In no particular order, then... Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow, last seen being gobbled up by a sea monster, is marooned in a desert purgatory.
Geoffrey Rush's Captain Barbossa is also back from the dead, and he wants to convene something called the Brethren Court. The fish- faced Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) is now in league with the dastardly, tea-drinking East India Company, because they've got his heart in a box, although he seems to survive perfectly well without it. Keira Knight-ley and Orlando Bloom play just about the only characters who haven't been killed at least once, but they're so lifeless they might as well have been. And Chow Yun Fat has joined the crew, for no discernible reason except to pander to the Asian market.
Also buckling their swashes are Jack Davenport, Mackenzie Crook, Tom Hollander and Naomie Harris, among a dozen others, but it's impossible to keep track of who they are, what they want, and whether or not they're dead. I suppose that because the first two Pirates of the Caribbean films made so much cash, no one was going to complain when the screenwriters chucked in a hundred-foot high goddess, nine pirate lords, and all the other twaddle they had in their notepads.
Still, if Pirates of the Caribbean 3 is a shipwreck as a story, there are some compensations to its bonkers, everything-including- the-kitchen-sink approach. Half an hour in, Depp is reintroduced with an incredibly long hallucination sequence, and from then on the film has so much gleefully weird imagery that it could have been made by Terry Gilliam with a limitless budget. If you think of it less as a Disney blockbuster and more as a freewheeling art-house folly, then there's plenty to treasure. …