‘Our Flag Means Death’ on HBO Max Is Almost Perfect, Until That Cliffhanger
April 6, 2022

‘Our Flag Means Death’ on HBO Max Is Almost Perfect, Until That Cliffhanger

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Our Flag Means Death on HBO Max

Rhys Darby and Taika Waititi in Our Flag Means Loss of life.


Aaron Epstein/HBO Max

I stand earlier than you completely satisfied that Taika Waititi is incapable of lacking any shot he takes. I’ve totally loved each single venture he has been concerned in, from What We Do in The Shadows to Thor: Ragnarok and just lately his position in Free Guy.

The brand new HBO sequence Our Flag Means Loss of life isn’t any exception. This distinctive comedy holds a comedic lens to some real-life pirates from the 1700s. It is terribly sensible, endlessly humorous and deep in methods most audiences aren’t ready for. The solid and cameo record is mainly Taika’s whole contact record, and the sheer irreverence is sufficient to depart you eager about all of it week regardless of the place you might be within the 10-episode span.

Till you get to the ending, anyway.

Our Flag Means Death on HBO Max

Aaron Epstein/HBO Max

The final curiosity that’s real-life pirate Stede Bonnet has been the subject of popular culture greater than as soon as. There are a number of spectacular articles and documentary-style YouTube movies out there about his life and why the so-called Gentleman Pirate stood out a lot within the grand historical past of piracy, in addition to a noteworthy look in Murderer’s Creed: Black Flag. Bonnet’s affiliation with Edward “Blackbeard” Thatch can also be a really actual factor that occurred, aboard an precise ship named Revenge.

So while you sit all the way down to the primary episode of Our Flag Means Loss of life and also you’re launched to the inimitable Rhys Darby because the hilariously ineffectual Captain Stede Bonnet, it is very clear you are in for a funhouse mirror view of this very actual particular person’s life and the entire misadventures contained therein. What I didn’t count on, two episodes in, was to care a lot about all of those characters.

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Rhys Darby and Taika Waititi in Our Flag Means Loss of life.


{Photograph} by Aaron Epstein/HBO Max

Our Flag Means Loss of life begins out a really clear comedy with not quite a lot of room for the rest. Unsurprisingly it mirrors vampire comedy What We Do within the Shadows (additionally co-created by Waititi) in some methods, appearing as this exceedingly foolish model of the extra intense legends in our tradition. There are even some spectacular shared jokes between the 2 sequence within the first couple of episodes to present these paying consideration one thing extra to giggle at.

However on the midway level on this sequence, there is a sluggish change in tone towards one thing extra dramatic. Our Flag Means Loss of life is not only a comedy, it is a romantic comedy. And as you attain the top of the season, that tone shifts virtually totally to the romantic aspect, a lot, actually, that it is actually extra of a dramatic comedy by the final episode I preserve complaining about.

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Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby in Our Flag Means Loss of life.


{Photograph} by Aaron Epstein/HBO Max

And if you have not heard from another person, Our Flag Means Loss of life is tremendous, tremendous homosexual and introduced in a means I’ve actually by no means seen earlier than. These are pirates in a time when ships had been imagined to be totally composed of males as a result of ladies had been a nasty omen on a ship, and these pirates had been at sea for a really very long time. As a substitute of portraying intimacy on these ships as one thing hidden or sordid, they simply exist and virtually no time is spent exploring the why or the how or what anyone else would possibly suppose. Some pirates are homosexual, most pirates do not care and actually extra exhibits needs to be written this manner. Waititi himself mentioned it greatest when responding to some early criticism — “It isn’t ‘bromantic’, it is ROMANTIC.”

To be clear, I do not dislike the final episode of Our Flag Means Loss of life, and I very a lot encourage each particular person I do know and everybody who reads this to look at the sequence anyway. The final episode is so extremely tonally completely different from the remainder of the present that it hurts. It is heavy, emotional materials even with the entire glorious comedy round to buoy that depth.

What actually upset me about this season is there is not any payoff: The viewers is left with a really epic cliffhanger. The one factor worse than a cliffhanger is one with no promise of decision, which is a fear right here as a result of Our Flag Means Loss of life has not but been greenlit for season two, a topic that, as Google Developments exhibits, lots of people are very interested by.

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Russell Holly

Your entire season is offered now on HBO Max, and if you have not added Our Flag Means Loss of life to your watch record but, I can not suggest it sufficient. If in case you have added it to your watch record already, possibly take into account transferring it up the queue. This can be a incredible present, and I do not know anybody who would not completely find it irresistible, even when the ending is completely painful with out the safety of a second season promised.



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