How others will see it. Lots of action, a dose of comedy, and our favorite pirate (Depp) return to bedazzle, entertain, and confuse audiences. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is a proven box office goldmine, and the ending ensures that at a minimum, a third series entry is in the works.
Audiences eat this stuff up. It's mindless fun, and if it seems like a mishmash of action scenes and comedy, few care since each individual scene entertains, even if as a whole they connect poorly together.
There's plenty of close-ups of Keira Knightley, although her role seems smaller the second time around. The building romance between her and Depp almost threatens her affiliation with her eternally loyal and brave betrothed, Orlando Bloom.
The special effects, especially of the arena-sized squid, are exciting, and perhaps too scary for small children.
How I felt about it. What a mess.
The plot, as best as I understand it, is that a smug aristocrat (Tom Hollander) puts Knightley and Bloom under a death sentence, as leverage to get them to the high seas once more to fetch the Black Pearl. Or is it a compass, or a key, or the heart of Davy Jones that everyone's after?
We never figure out what good the jar of dirt would do for Depp. Does he have the heart of Davy Jones, and if he does, what good does it do for him? There's some weird voodoo princess, who babbles unintelligibly and knows superstitious things, but apparently won't leave her French Quarter shack. She appreciates the gift of a pesky, immortal monkey. Who wouldn't?
The story is a shambles. I suppose if I saw it again, and again, perhaps it would make some sense. But, more likely, the plot isn't considered important. It's just an excuse to send our handsome heroes out to the seas for action, comedy, and adventure.
What's the most bogus moment? Is it when Keira holds a gun to the head of Hollander, who responds as if she had merely said something interesting? Is it when she disguises herself as a man to get onboard a ship, and no one identifies her as a supermodel in men's clothing?
Or, is it when a giant wheel rolls over Johnny Depp without any injury to him? Or when he falls from a great height unharmed, because he fell through three wooden bridges along the way? And how the heck did Davy Jones' heart get into a buried treasure chest, still beating after all this time. Why would someone bury such a thing?
But never mind. We have a beautiful woman, an eccentric pirate, a brave hunk, and a squid villain with a bad temper. And they all fight each other, or for each other, or conspire against each other, all the time. (It's like the Senate.) That's enough for most people.