my review of Dead Man's Chest, At World's End could be where they explain what happens to everyone because it is a full on continuation of the story of Davy Jones and the conflict with the East India Trading Company (EITC). They do a decent job of explaining what happened to Jack and how Barbossa is still alive. However, as per usual for the Pirates franchise, they do a sub par job of explaining the story as a whole. The exposition in the entire series is convoluted and quite confusing. I believe this is due to a lot of Pirate Speak. The confusing nature of World's End is compounded by the whole plan to draw in the EITC. You never know who is where and where anyone's allegiances lie or even what their motivation is. The whole notion of the Pirate Brethren could have been scrapped. Ultimately, they don't do anything and in the end reminded me of all those countries' ships surrounding Homer Simpson's submarine in the Simpsons' Simpson Tide episode. Some writing changes would have given the same end results with Calypso and the whole plan and made it a lot less confusing.
In the previous two movies, I noted that the whole dynamic between Chris O'Donnell (oops, I mean Orlando Bloom) and Kiera Knightley just didn't work. Well, in this movie, nothing has changed. Their performances are still forced and wooden. Neither of them has what it takes to play a character that can demand allegiance from people. Neither is really a leader and their speeches and orders to crews really suffer for it. And don't even get me started on that ridiculous wedding ceremony during what was otherwise a very cool sword fighting scene. Ridiculous. Fortunately, we may have seen the last of William Turner and Elizabeth Swann. But these movies keep making money so you never know.
Another mistake they made in this film was to go too artsy. I do believe it was planned as a continuation much like the Kill Bill movies. And it seems like they tried to do the same thing in filming them with two very distinct styles. (If I ever watch the Kill Bill movies again, I will review them too. I just don't know if I can handle the gore and violence again.) It worked in Kill Bill. It did not in Pirates. All of the scenes with Jack Sparrow hallucinating were just weird for the sake of weird. It's almost as if they felt they were running out of goofy things for Depp to do so they said, "let's have him talk to himself." It never seems to fit.
There were, however, some good things about World's End. The action is top notch again. The fights are great and the effects are superb. While I didn't enjoy the artsy method they tried, I did enjoy Depp's antics once again. His visual reactions to odd things happening are great and his one liners are still strong. Finally, I really liked the Gibbs character. He makes a great first mate to whoever is Captain of the Pearl.
The only reason I would say to actually see this movie is if you want closure from Dead Man's Chest. Although that one stands on its own as a great movie, it has too many loose ends and you'd probably want to see it through. While I haven't seen the fourth one yet (going tonight), I don't think it would be necessary to see this one first. Just in case, I'll bring you up to speed: Barbossa is Captain of the Pearl and left Sparrow and Gibbs behind at port. Both Barbossa and Sparrow are after the Fountain of Youth. Barbossa has the Pearl and its crew but Sparrow has the map and his magic compass and a very small dinghy. There, you don't have to watch At World's End.