In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest it is no surprise that the East India Trading Company is portrayed in the role of villain. Historically they were the enemy to pirates who by simply circumventing their monopolistic strangle-hold on every trading port in the world could be convicted of piracy. Of course the movie is going to play off of this.
What I did find surprising are the jabs at organized labor. Now maybe I am reading too much into the examples I am about to give, or maybe I am right on the money. You be the judge. I will give examples from both movies.
In the first film we see that poor little Will Turner has to work his butt off as an apprentice for some lazy drunk slob who gets credit and gets paid for all the awesome swords that Will makes. Even when the pirate shows up the irony of this situation continues when it is young Mr. Turner that fights Jack Sparrow off for about 15 minutes and keeps him from getting away, and then just has to watch as his boss wakes up from his drunken slumber just in time to smash his bottle over the pirate's head right as the authorities show up, again stealing his apprentice's thunder. My reading of this, the guild system sucks because it does not reward talent, initiative, or hard work.
Another jab at organized labor is breaking candelabra bit seen in both movies. In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Will Turner leans on a candelabra as he is waiting to deliver the sword for Commodore Norrington. In Dead Man's Chest they revive this gag when Governor Swan is visiting a prisoner in the jail. Again, as someone leans on the candelabra it breaks. To me they are commenting on how organized labor can protect people who are sub-par workers. There is no historical basis whatever to support this idea that the candelabra guild in the Caribbean during the 17th century was anything but completely professional.
The point of these movies is to glorify pirates and show how much smarter and superior they are to everyone else. So how does denigrating Organized Labor help to glorify pirates? Well pirates are the exact opposite of organized labor. They thrive based on their cunning, skill and savvy, not on a position in a guild or brotherhood. Pirates are highly independent individuals. They rely on themselves to sink or swim as it were.
As for my review of the Second Pirates of the Caribbean movie, it was great. It was better than the first in terms of overall excitement and pure entertainment. Number two lacked the coherence of plot of number one, and it lacked the level of character development, but that is understandable given that this is the second movie. What this movie lacks in those areas it more than made up for in action and special effects. And the half-man/half-sea-creature crew of Davey Jonesí ship are at least as scary as the living dead crew of the Black Pearl!
by Cameron Hatch
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