Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ★★★★

Totally forgot that Chow Yun-fat was in this. He only gets three scenes, but it's still the best work he did in Hollywood. They never could figure him out, but Verbinski came the closest.

If the first film is, in part, about the revenge of the colonized on the colonizers, playing on their greed to eat away at them from the inside, the second and third are much more ambitious. The basic premise is the same, revenge of the colonized, but here they're represented by an array of stereotypes (mostly racial and ethnic but above all literary, sourced in the imperialist fiction of the 19th and early 20th centuries) posited against the bland, utterly amoral forces of capital. The pirates exist in a world of make-believe (they make it up as they go along), of places and characters manufactured, strangely enough, by the people who are destroying them. Capital grinds up the world and makes it fiction, the blank spaces on the map, full of potential adventure and mystery and weirdness, reduced to product and consumer.

That these movies were released by Disney as one of the last gasps of truly weird Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking, soon to be replaced by the dull literalism of the MCU and at least half of their Star Wars films, is some kind of prescience.

The world used to be a bigger place.
Nah, the world's still the same, there’s just less in it.

Nobody move--I dropped me brain.

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