Dead in the Water; THE BIG PICTURE Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (12A) Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush, Chow Yun-Fat. Director: Gore Verbinski. 168 Mins. Rating: ***
Byline: Philip Key
IN THE same week that the Cutty Sark went up in flames, we now bear witness to another mari time disaster.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End is not a complete shipwreck but it sails perilously close, capsizing in the first hour under the weight of audience expectation.
Rumbustious action set-pieces, augmented with spectacular computer-generated effects, bookend this third instalment of the series, and cute comic interludes buoy the downbeat mood.
However, there's no mistaking warning flares sent up by Johnny Depp, who looks interminably bored with his character, salty seadog Jack Sparrow.
He barely musters the energy to deliver a performance.
If you haven't seen the first two films, there's very little point seeing At World's End.
Screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio presume audiences are savvy with the characters and their fates, chugging full steamahead with the quest to rescue Jack from Davy Jones's locker.
Falling foul of a pact forged with the multitentacled Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), Jack finds himself consigned to purgatory.
Thankfully lovebirds WiU Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley left) have joined forces with Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) to rescue Jack from walking the plank to eternal damnation.
They head to Singapore to meet with Chinese pirate Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat), in the hope of creating an alliance against the despicable East India Trading Company which now controls Davy and his vessel, The Flying Dutchman. …