They obviously tried to turn POTC into LOTR on high seas. However, instead of following COTBP with 3 movies, which would make much more sense considering number of characters and plots, they made only two which is why the last movie was so rushed. There really should have been another movie to provide breathing space and character development. Besides, the sequels followed LOTR and Star Wars plots in many points so why the heck not?
First movie - Fellowship of the Heart. DJ`s heart is a similar plot device to One Ring - it`s an object of power, corrupts those who take it, must be destroyed but there is a catch, you know the drill. Establish the players with interest in the heart (as DMC did). End with a clifhanger (as DMC did). Overall, I`ve no problem with DMC except that unimportant stuff went for too long (Cannibal Island) while important stuff was cut short (Map is Finished).
Second movie - Two Flagships. There`s Pearl and its crew (includes getting Jack back from the Locker and Barbossa joining) and there`s Dutchman and the uneasy alliance between Beckett, Jones and Norrington, suspension of rights,mass hanging, etc. Let me get this one straight - Beckett and Jones plots didn`t gel at all. They were from different movies completely the way they turned out in DMC and AWE. However, if there was another movie where we could see how that alliance really worked, and considering tentions it would`ve been an interesting view. Also, on the hero/anti-hero side, second movie could have introduced and fleshed out Pirate Lords so that we can actually care for them. This was a huge missed opportunity, IMO, because all those different nationalities are surely intresting but they had zero personality and really served as a comic relief only. Like TTT where remains of the Fellowship were seeking allies in Rohan and Gondor, and Saruman and Sauron were building a mega army, this mid-movie could have done the same for POTC since they wanted an epic story of good vs evil the way of pirates. Also DJ and Calypso story that totally went nowhere would have benefited from extra screen time.Finally, I absolutely loathe Mary Suelisabeth Pirate King but this movie would have been an opportunity to make her a real captain and a real pirate so that her transition to Pirate King (if they really wanted to keep that stupid idea) would make sense and the title earned. And give awesome Chow Yun fat something to do.
Third movie - Return of the Pirate King. It`s a showdown time and showdown means big battle that enages all those hundereds of ships instead of having them stand and watch BP and FD spin on a maelstrom. That was super disappointing. I mean, imagine Pelennor Fields with big armies standing on the side watching Fellowship on one side and few bad guys from the other side duke it out. And then go home. No, sorry, that was unforgivable. But in ROTPK, there would be this incredible huge battle where all those Pirates from different seas are showing their distinguished style of fighting, where Barbossa makes an epic Braveheart speech to rally troops instead of really weak and ridiculous Elisabeth one, where Norrington escapes to pirate side and devises brilliant naval strategy of defence/offence that leads to pirate victory and if they still wanted him dead than make him a pirate version of Nelson to Beckett`s Napoleon (with Beckett being banished to that desert island where Barbossa left Jack ;) ) , and no downer of an ending for Willabeth (instead of stupid fight wedding that had the most walk outs by cinema guests I`ve ever seen, how about real pirate wedding with drinks all around? ).
Note: those LOTRish movie titles are not to be taken seriously. They are just made up to get the point accross. :)