'You have to be lost to find a place that cannot be found, else everyone would know where it was" makes as much sense as anything in this free-for-all feculent fantasy.

In "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," kohl-eyed Johnny Depp swishes and prances about, ducking skirmishes like a surprised drunken sailor forever mumbling as if three sheets to the wind. Capt. Jack Sparrow (the adept Depp), masculine while sashaying and mincing, keeps this buccaneer lunacy from foundering. It's nearly three hours but clips along at a fast pace.

Stories abound: The Crown has ends to meet, as do the Asians, lovers and pirates. A fierce ship-battle erupts, so of course that was the time for an engagement and wedding. During one of the unending sword fights, one says, "This is madness," with the retort, "No, this is politics." Action seldom stops once the odd beginning ends.

The film's pivotal oceanic whirlpool, maelstrom and mid-sea waterfall are, of course, not fully explained, but neither are all the showery swashbuckling scraps. "Pirates" swagger with duelers and rulers, an inarticulate sorceress, various men becoming part of the ship, or not, in this shiny-briny tale.

Starring roles should go to the magnificent leafy vessels, a terrible war schooner, tree-boats, boat trees, dingys, and ships (a boat can fit on a ship but a ship can't fit on a boat) that all billow along right to the end - which probably isn't the end (of "Pirates").

It's a shipload of fun.