We cut back to the Las Vegas landmark we just saw, and then over to who I shall refer to as our Trio of Greed – a politician, corporate executive, and lawyer, who, for some reason, apparently discuss their illegal activities on public sidewalks. None of these three are ever named and they’re not particularly easy to tell apart. I only know the difference between the Executive and the Lawyer, for example, because I Googled the name of the actors, compared it against the end credits, and matched the faces.
“They think they may have an opportunity to use it now,” Politician explains to the other two, “but they in for a surprise.” With these words, he turns and marches up the steps of the building, and…we cut away to more driving footage of Las Vegas landmarks. I get the feeling Breen is trying desperately to introduce a plot, but he lacks the ability to do so.
We go back to Neil driving and he passes the exact same Jack-in-the-Box that he passed few minutes ago. It doesn’t just feel like this movie is going in circles. It actually IS going in circles!
After some more driving footage, we cut to the outside of a generic, nondescript office building. Yes, it’s finally time for our plot to get going, a mere 21 minutes into this film’s running time. And yes, I’m using the term “plot” very, very loosely.
The blonde girl is one of our main protagonists, Cindy, although her name is never mentioned at any point in the movie. Actually, the only characters who are actually named in this movie are completely irrelevant to the plot.
“The country is finally seriously addressing sustainability,” the redhead exposits in what I would normally consider to be a blatant ‘As you know, Bob’, except none of this dialogue is important or reveals anything relevant to the plot. She continues “AND respecting the planet’s natural resources.” Um…what country are you living in, lady? Until more than 50% of the cars in the United States are hybrids, I don’t think we’re ‘seriously’ addressing anything.
Cindy gleefully talks about how excited she is to be working there, because they’re finally producing results generating solar power and wind-turbine power generation. She helpfully turns to the brunette, cueing her for her line about how the ‘engineering’ will create a sustainable energy system for the ‘younger generation’. And with that out of the way, we cut back to our Trio of Greed, slowly mounting the steps outside a nondescript cement and glass building. But we cut away before they have a chance to say anything to a man in a business suit stacking piles of hundred-dollar bills. Neil’s voiceover starts. “Corrupt corporations. Criminals on Wall Street.” We get a shot of stock footage that’s supposed to represent Wall Street.
“Greedy politicians,” Neil continues, gazing off into space. “Lying lawyers and insurance companies.” Pulling no punches there, Neil! Let them have it! We see more stock footage of smoke billowing out of a factory.
Neil grouses about how they’re destroying what he’d envisioned for the planet. And…we’re back to the guy with the piles of money, who slides the cash across the table towards the camera, which is another shot you should get used to. “I will eliminate them all, if the humans cannot,” Neil’s voiceover continues. And there you have it. That’s his reason for returning to Earth – to wipe out the worst of the plague devouring humanity.
After a few more generic shots of Las Vegas, we cut to the Executive and the Lawyer sitting in a car. The Executive explains to the Lawyer that now that they’ve paid off the Politician, “the environmental solar-panel development bill” will fail. The Lawyer adds that it will put plenty of cash in their pockets as well. I think the actor playing the Lawyer was trying to look gleeful in this scene, but instead he looks like he’s about to keel over from a heart attack.
The Executive adds that the country has gone without renewable energy until now, so it can wait for a few more years. Makes sense to me! He adds that it’s more profitable to be without them. I guess, but…why are you explaining all of this to your own lawyer? He works with you, for crying out loud! His next line, though, is completely out of left field: “The country has known for years that the corporations and certainly the politicians don’t have the insight or the vision to create sustainable energy systems.” Uh…they don’t? Who, then, does have the insight? Long-haired hippies? Former real estate agents turned movie producers? Breen does realize that corporations design, create, build, and sell renewable energy products, doesn’t he?
The Executive and the Lawyer continue to talk along the same lines for a few minutes, and chuckle about how their “network of greed” will never let renewable energy happen. C’mon, Breen, we get it, they’re evil. If you want to hit us over the head with it, just show them drowning some kittens or something.
Finally, the Executive explains that it will take a ‘power greater than ours’ to clean up the system. I guess you can file that one under Obvious Foreshadowing.
We cut back to Cindy and the brunette chatting about clothes outside their office building. Shouldn’t these people be working or something? The two actresses are pretty obviously improvising all their lines, because it’s some of the most normal dialogue in the entire movie. After a moment, the redhead comes out and explains that due to the poor economy, they’re going to have to let both of them go. Yes. You say poor economy, I say poor work habits. The redhead explains that although they all had the best of intentions of improving the country’s sustainable energy systems, the corruption and greed in the corporations and government kept it from happening.
Cindy is miffed but doesn’t appear overly surprised that she just got fired. She snaps that it’s always the government and lawyers that prevent progress, and stalks off. Come on, Breen! Tell us how you really feel!
The redhead heads back inside, but she’s intercepted by Neil, who hands her a broken rose and tells her – twice – to not give up. This is something of a director trademark for Breen – repeating a line of dialogue twice for no discernable reason.
Neil’s hand holding the broken rose glows, we cut away…and when we cut back the rose is magically whole again!
Also, Neil is quite conspicuously missing from this shot, but a moment later he’s back standing right next to her. Continuity? What’s that? The redhead, completely unsurprised by a random stranger approaching her and magically fixing a rose, heads inside without even saying goodbye.
After a shot of a peaceful Las Vegas community, we’re back out in the desert where someone is pouring blood onto the ground, which is nicely underscored by the peaceful elevator music on the soundtrack. And we’re back to the community for a few seconds, before cutting over to a couple men standing in front of some broken-down, destroyed houses. This is apparently where the gang hangs out, so I’ll be referring to it as the Gangster’s Paradise for the rest of the movie.
They pop the clips out of their pistols, which are quite obviously plastic, and then slide them back in. And this, too, is a shot that will repeatedly show up in this movie.
We cut back to the community…and then back to a desert, with an arm holding a kitchen knife that is covered in cherry pie filling – wait, hang on, I guess that’s supposed to be blood.
And finally we’re back in the community. Cindy is walking along pushing a baby stroller with a doll in it. And yes, it is quite obviously a doll.
Neil, I’m not going to say you should go out and find a baby to film with. I am saying if you don’t have that kind of budget, move the camera up about six inches so the fucking doll isn’t visible! We see the baby stroller, we get the point! Your audience will assume there’s a baby in there!
With Cindy is her twin sister Amber, and you can tell these two are twins because they look so much alike, and they both dislike wearing bras.
Cindy rants about how she got laid off, and now she’s unable to support herself or her baby. Amber tries to encourage her and says that she’ll find something, because she’s pretty and smart and hot. And you can really tell which quality Amber values the most.
Cindy is worried that she won’t find a job half as interesting as the one she just lost, but Amber tells her to become a stripper or an escort, because Cindy would be great at it. How she knows that her twin would be a great stripper…I’m not certain. Cindy is horrified at the idea, and says that she can’t, because she’s a mother. Actually, Cindy, a lot of single mothers turn to stripping. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Amber tells Cindy she might not have a choice. Fortunately, Amber knows someone to set Cindy up with, just to get her started. Amber reassures her that she can lie to everyone about what she actually does, because that’s what everyone does. It’s the big secret in Sin City! All girls are actually strippers or escorts. After a moment, Cindy admits that she is getting pretty desperate.
They walk along for a bit and a boy rides towards them on a bike. As he gets near he shouts “Wow!” and falls off his bike, presumably distracted by how hot the twins are. Amber and Cindy turn and burst out laughing before walking off.
Incidentally, we just hit the 29 minute mark, which means we’re one-third of the way through the movie. Feels like it, doesn’t it?
We cut to the side of the wall that says “Justice Center”. Neil walks by it, while his voiceover explains that humans still haven’t developed a justice system that punishes the guilty and protects the innocent. Uh…perhaps not, but our current one does a better job than through most of history. No system is perfect, and especially not one that ensures everyone has a fair trial, but generally speaking it’s a lot better than the alternatives.
We cut to a gang hanging out in the Gangster’s Paradise. Despite standing on the street in broad daylight, they’re openly brandishing assault rifles. Even more interesting, the Trio of Greed is standing there hanging out with them.
You know, I’m not denying that some politicians might be in bed with crime syndicates, but most politicians aren’t stupid enough to hang out with them on the street in broad daylight.
After a moment, Amber and Cindy walk into frame. A gang member with an atrocious haircut says that he has a new girl to work for them. Far more interesting is that if you pause the DVD, you can see the camera operator reflected in his sunglasses.
We slowly pan across the gang and the Trio of Greed, and then cut back to Amber and Cindy. And now it’s time for the greatest line of this entire movie, delivered superbly by Amber: “Very hot. I’d like to do any two of these guys at the same time!”
Cindy is horrified and delivers a very over-the-top exasperated “What?” to her sister. We get another slow panning shot of the gang, with expressions ranging from bored to lecherous. After a moment, a young man with big ears says “Hell yeah! I’ll do her! Damn! Twins!” I have no idea how he knows they’re twins. Maybe it’s the way they dress.
The gang leader turns and grabs a random gang member (not Big Ears), says “I get her first!” and shoots the man through his wrist. Holy shit! The guy didn’t even look interested. The man drops his plastic assault rifle to the pavement and screams in agony, clutching his bloody wrist. Interestingly, there’s no blood on the pavement beneath him.
Incidentally, this actor is the same druggie on the back of the truck awhile ago, although they’re not intended to be the same person, Breen just used the same actor in several roles. This, like everything else, is not the only time he’ll do this.
Amber and Cindy gasp in horror and grab each other, but this is after several long screams of agony, so the way it’s cut together it looks like they’re reacting a good five seconds after the man actually got shot.
We cut forward. Yeah, that entire scene was pointless. The gang leader – you know, he’s never given a name, but the actor playing him is named Maraud, which is sufficiently awesome for the purposes of this recap. Maraud gives Cindy a wad of cash, which she accepts. They walk off. Amber blows a kiss at someone – it’s not specified who, but it doesn’t really matter because we’ve already established that she’d like to do any two of these guys at the same time – and I assume that includes the creepy old guys.
Later, the Executive and Lawyer meet the Politician. The Executive makes a “donation” to the Politician, under the condition that he does what the Executive says and votes according to plan. The Politician assures the Executive he’ll do everything he can, as long as the ‘goodies’ keep coming. Don’t worry, we’ll soon find out just what he means by that.
The Executive explains that they’re going to get rid of another politician, a man named ‘Mr. Smith’ – and his lawyer – permanently. In case this was too subtle, the Lawyer chimes in and says they’re going to have an unfortunate…accident. Good grief. Do you seriously expect us to believe that these people are going to discuss murdering politicians out on the sidewalk?
We cut to the desert, where huge amounts of fake blood are being poured on the ground. A voice off-screen begs someone not to cut off his ear. This is immediately follow by a chopping sound, a horrible scream, and a fake ear falls to the ground.
We see the same knife covered in cherry pie filling as before, then the same long blood spatter as before, while the voice begs someone not to cut off his hand, because that request worked so well before. You know, these requests are oddly specific for someone being slowly dismembered. Wouldn’t the victim just be screaming “Oh god, please don’t! Please don’t hurt me!”
For that matter, why are they dismembering this guy? Wouldn’t it be a lot simpler to just shoot him and toss his body into a grave? All this blood spatter is going to be a real bitch to clean up.
Anyway, there’s another chopping sound and scream, and fake severed hand falls into the frame. It’s absolutely covered in blood.
We see the cherry pie filling knife, and then suddenly the man is lying next to his hand. Oddly, most of the blood has abruptly disappeared.
He writhes for a few seconds, goes still, and then we’re back to the Executive. He tells the Politician to act surprised and shocked, and when the federal investigation begins, he doesn’t know anything. You know what would be equally effective? Not telling the Politician. Then he really will be surprised and shocked and not know anything. Funny how that works, isn’t it?
The Politician is fine with all this, so the Executive says that he’ll be sending over a thank-you gift later that day. And a moment later we’re at a pool in someone’s backyard and the Politician walks into frame, with Amber, in a bikini, on one arm, and Cindy, in a bikini, on the other. Holy shit, twins? That’s a pretty impressive gift!
Amber and Cindy are giggling like Japanese schoolgirls for no real reason, and they don’t stop throughout the entire scene. The Politician sits down in a deck chair while the twins get into the pool, gasping at the appropriate moments. The Politician gives them a look that could charitably be described as revolting, adjusts his tie, and says to no one: “Double my pleasure!” Okay then.