Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: Random thoughts

I ended up watching the newly released Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End this week, so here are some random thoughts about it. As always, a spoiler alert applies to what follows.
  • Can someone please email the production company to tell them that a bad guy obsessing over nine "pieces of eight" sounds really really stupid?

  • Disappointment #1. Davy Jones, despite an appearance highly derivative of a certain famous American writer's "mythos", was apparently not a cthuloid lifeform.

  • Disappointment #2. The other main bad guys, who are all in the employ of the British East India Company, are all risk-adverse, essentially indistinguishable white guys wearing uniforms. Aside from a brief fight scene and some suspensions of civil liberties in the first 15 minutes, most of these characters spend the movie either blandly issuing orders or blindly following orders. It wasn't even clear that most of them were even particularly bad since they spend the movie basically cracking down on notorious criminals. Piracy is technically illegal, after all.

  • Also interesting was the explicit parallel to the United States in the climatic battle scene. On one side there is the gloriously mutlicultural pirate resistance whose "tribal" leaders, despite continually maneuvering for more personal power and influence at the expense of their rivals, can unify under a self-elected warlord in times of desperate emergency. On the other side is the monolithic, monoethnic, hegemonic British East India Company whose art of war is maintaining a huge battle fleet for the sole purpose of deterring resistance to it's elite strike force. The pirate coalition wins by defeating the enemy's elite striking force, the Flying Dutchman, thereby causing the enemy armada to immediately flee rather than suffer casualty #1 by actually personally engaging in battle.


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