May Movie Madness: Battle Royale

No lights, no crowd, no arena. This isn’t about acclamation or award; it’s just about finishing on top. This isn’t about who would save the world; it’s about who would survive when it ends. This isn’t about who is the richest or best looking or most charming; it’s about who is the toughest, deadliest, bada**est mother lover on the planet.

(push play and listen as you read. Do this now.)

It’s high noon. The sun shines brightly on a lone figure standing alone, all by himself— head down, fists clenched, black trench coat flowing in the light light breeze. Rain pours down from the blackened sky as lightning strikes around. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Lucy Liu flies at the lone figure’s furiously furtive face with a ferocious flying kick. The figure reacts and counters, dodging the kick and sending Lucy Liu careening to the ground. Lucy Liu recovers, landing, crouched, head down, ready to look up in a sexy mid-fight pose for the camera.

“Glad you made it, Reeves.” Lucy Liu sounds sexy for no reason.
“No more talk. Let’s fight.” Keanu Reeves shows no expression as he pulls out a katana. “Give up. There’s no way you can win this.” Keanu Reeves continues to talk.
“On the contrary.” Lucy Liu also continues to talk as she pulls out her own katana. Realizing there is a way Lucy Liu can with this, Keanu Reeves flies straight upward and takes to the sky. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Will Smith flies in and catches Keanu Reeves with a right hook to the face. Keanu Reeves crashes back down into the dirt.

Welcome back to Earth.” Will Smith takes an extra second to taunt the corpse of Keanu Reeves. Suddenly, from out of of nowhere, Charlize Theron meets Will Smith mid-air with a face kick that must be replayed in slow motion several times to be appreciated.

Meanwhile, back on the ground, Lucy Liu has found another katana-wielding opponent. Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu attack each other relentlessly, nothing but a blur of steal and sparks. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a tank shell replaces the two fighters with a crater. The tank rolls up on the scene and Brad Pitt pops his head out the hatch.

“Dem Nazis?” Brad Pitt tactlessly crosses between war movies. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a tank shell replaces Brad Pitt with a crater and Liam Neeson pops his head out from the tank hatch.

“D*** wannabe.” Liam Neeson spits out his cigar, which flies back in the wind above him. This sentence makes no sense to the reader, until they realize that the tank is plummeting downward out of the sky, slowed only by a lacerated parachute. Just before the tank hits the ground, Liam Neeson glares directly at the universe, which apologizes and gives Liam Neeson a nice soft landing.

“Nice ride, old man.” Vin Diesel pulls up in a 1970 dodge charger. Liam Neeson steps down from the tank.
“I don’t know who you are, but I will kill you.”
“I dunno, I’m pretty good at killing.” Vin Diesel puts on a pair of black goggles and steps out of the car. Vin Diesel lunges at Liam Neeson with knives in both hands. Liam Neeson dodges both weapons, throwing Vin Diesel into the side of the tank. But Vin Diesel has already recovered to land a kick into Liam Neeson’s gut. Vin Diesel again goes for the kill. This time Liam Neeson disarms one of Vin Diesel’s hands and grabs the knife. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, just as Liam Neeson is about to strike, Liam Neeson is thrown from the skirmish by a massive, brown, tattooed arm.

“No one gets to kill you but me.” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson grabs Vin Diesel and throws him through a warehouse window.

Just as Liam Neeson recovers, another voice sounds out from the distance.
Hasta la vista, baby!” The reader takes a second to re-read the line in an Arnold Schwarzenegger accent. Arnold Schwarzenegger points his machine gun right at Liam Neeson. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a chopper descends from the sky.

“You b****es forget about me?” nobody can actually hear Michelle Rodriguez through the noise of the helicopter, but it still sounds awesome (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gets thrown through a brick wall). Suddenly, both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michelle Rodriguez let loose a firestorm of bullets onto the scene. The automatic fire continues non-stop for a solid minute, until the ammunition is spent.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Vin Diesel and Liam Neeson stand, untouched, bullet holes littering the ground around them. Liam Neeson takes off for Arnold Swarzenegger at a run. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a bunch of spears on a pole swing out to hit Liam Neeson just above the knee. Sylvester Stallone jumps up from under a pile of leaves.

Yo, Arnie!” The reader takes another second to re-read that several times trying to sound like a drunk Philadelphian. Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Swarzenegger face each other, muscles freshly oiled.
“Glad you could make it, old man.” Arnold Schwarzenegger shows off an indelible wit.
“Speak for yourself, eehhhaaaadlllnnn.” Sylvester Stallone retorts, ending with a truly biting yet completely unintelligible epithet. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone clasp hands as rockets explode behind them. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, an English accent interrupts the bromance.

“We’re teaming up then, are we?” Jason Statham steps out of a 1999 BMW E38 753i wearing a black suit. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Scarlett Johansson flies over the car to kick Jason Statham in the face (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel crash through two more walls). Michelle Rodriguez lands the helicopter.

Get to the choppaaah!!” Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone run toward the helicopter. That’s when Scarlett Johansson takes them both out, using a single, double-neck-breaking-with-legs motion. Scarlett Johansson lands, crouched, head down, ready to look up in a sexy mid-fight pose for the camera. The extra second is all Michelle Rodriguez needs to pile drive Scarlett Johansson into the dirt (Vin Diesel crashes through another window).

“You ladies mind if I join?” Jason Statham is now wearing a tank top and inexplicably covered in grease. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Rhonda Rousey clothes-lines Jason Statham into next year.

“What? I was in a movie!” Rhonda Rousey glares directly at the reader. The reader, incredulous, decides to just go with it. Rhonda Rousey turns on Michelle Rodriguez like bad deja vu. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Milla Jovovich fires a round of pennies into the fray. Michelle Rodriguez and Rhonda Rousey stop and stare, confused as to what exactly Milla Jovovich is doing there. That’s when Kate Beckinsale roundhouse kicks Milla Jovovich into the afterlife.

“Did someone say roundhouse kick?” Chuck Norris descends in a flaming chariot. Immediately, Rhonda Rousey, Michelle Rodriguez and Kate Beckinsale attack, only to be disintegrated by Chuck Norris’s beard. Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson pause mid-through-wall-throw and charge at Chuck Norris, only to be cast into oblivion by Chuck Norris’s left pectoral. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a fist catches Chuck Norris squarely in the face.

The world stops rotating. Will Smith and Charlize Theron fall out of the sky. Every corpse on the battlefield looks up with wonder at what the freak just happened. And there stands Bruce Lee, shirtless and ready to fight.

“Once and for all, old friend.” Say the English subtitles below Bruce Lee. Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee engage in a battle that may only be described by playing Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s entire discography backwards. Yes, even the Christmas stuff. ESPECIALLY the Christmas stuff. The reader takes a long moment to imagine the glory of it. When the dust settles, Bruce Lee stands, bloodied but victorious, over the pulverized body of Chuck Norris. Because I don’t care how many jokes there are, Bruce Lee was always better.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a fist catches Bruce Lee squarely in the face.

“Too many Bruces.” Old Bruce Willis shakes out his slightly arthritic hand.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a fist catches Old Bruce Willis squarely in the face

“No place for kids.” Old Harrison Ford shakes out his very arthritic hand. Old Bruce Willis replies with a right hook to Old Harrison Ford’s face. Old Harrison Ford hits Old Bruce Willis in the face again. Old Bruce Willis hits Old Harrison Ford in the face again. Old Harrison Ford hits Old Bruce Willis in the face. Old Bruce Willis hits Old Harrison Ford in the face. Actually we’re just gonna move on cuz this goes on for a while.

A gunshot rings out. Old Bruce Willis and Old Harrison Ford fall down, dead. Whether from the gunshot or from natural causes is unknown.

“Whole thing was draggin’ on anyway.” John Wayne stands before the sunset, shotgun on hip. The reader takes some time to remember who John Wayne even was, agree that indeed John Wayne will always be the toughest SOB that ever was, and re-read the previous quotation with their best John Wayne impression. It will not be very good.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Tom Cruise lunges at John Wayne. John Wayne shoots Tom Cruise in the face. John Wayne walks into the sunset. The battle is over.

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