The Greatest Guy Movies
of All-Time


The Greatest Guy Movies of All-Time
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Brief Description, Including Great Quotes and Scenes

American Pie (1999)

Director Paul Weitz's wildly popular, humorous and raucous teen-sex comedy (with the slogan: "You never forget your first slice!") was typical of the late 90s and brought back raunch to this genre of comedy film, with numerous shocking and squirm-inducing scenes. The film's title was derived from the question: "What exactly does third base feel like?" and the answer: "Like warm apple pie." It was an extreme 'guilty pleasure' film about losing one's virginity by prom night. See Sex in Cinema for uncensored version.

Also the sequel American Pie 2 (2001). Other films in the series, including: American Wedding (2003), American Pie Presents: Band Camp (2005), American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile (2006), American Pie Presents: Beta House (2007), and American Pie Presents: Book of Love (2009)

In the opening scene in his bedroom, sex-obsessed, awkward, coming-of-age, horny high-school senior Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs) was masturbating himself with a long athletic tube sock while watching scrambled porn on pay-TV, but was caught by both of his parents, who were shocked by the dialogue they were hearing from the TV: "Baby! Ride me like a pony!" and "Oh, spank my hairy ass!" He was extremely embarrassed and upset by his invasion of privacy.

At his East Great Falls High School (fictional) in West Michigan, and at high school get-togethers or parties, the socially-awkward, sex-obsessed, nerdy and naive Jim interacted with many of his seemingly-more successful male friends with the opposite sex, including lacrosse team player Chris "Oz" Ostreicher (Chris Klein), charming and handsome Kevin Myers (Thomas Ian Nicholas), and coffee-loving sophisticate Paul Finch (Eddie Kay Thomas).

Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs)

Chris "Oz" Ostreicher (Chris Klein)

Kevin Myers (Thomas Ian Nicholas)

Paul Finch (Eddie Kay Thomas)

Unlike them, however, one of their friends, arrogant ladies' man and lacrosse jock Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott), had already lost his virginity and often hosted drinking parties at his house. While attending the party, the foursome failed in their attempts to fully score with the females. However, Stifler was about to succeed and make out with sophomore chick Sarah (Eden Riegel) - she was reluctant to have sex, telling him: "You know what? I don't know if I want to be doing this....You know, like, if we hook up tonight, tomorrow I'll just be some girl you go tellin' all your friends about"; in the shocking and squirm-inducing scene, Stifler chugged down a cup of brew, not knowing that it was mixed with sperm deposited there earlier by Kevin who had orgasmed into the cup after oral sex with his coed-girlfriend Vicky (Tara Reid). Shortly later, Stifler embarrassingly vomited up the entire contents of his stomach onto his female conquest (off-screen) - in the next scene, she screamed and fled down the stairs and out of the house with stained clothes.

Kevin felt especially deprived and sexually-inadequate when he was abruptly dumped at the party by his long-time girlfriend Vicky after she heard him complaining to Jim about her poor fellatio technique. Soon after, the foursome agreed on a pact to get laid within three weeks, before the school prom and graduation.

Furthermore, Jim's well-meaning father (Eugene Levy) decided to have an awkward sex-education session with his son by offering a selection of dirty magazines and instructed him to go to the center section: "Well, you see the detail that, uh, that they go into in this picture here.... It almost looks like a tropical plant or something, underwater - thing"; his father also asked: "Do you know what a clitoris is?"

Meanwhile, Kevin atttempted to restore his broken relationship with ex-girlfriend Vicky. During their time together, she had never experienced an orgasm with him and the two remained virginal; to win her back, Kevin received advice from his older brother Tom (Casey Affleck) from a compiled "Bible" in the library with students' sexual tips, and from Vicky's best friend Jessica (Natasha Lyonne); she had urged him to practice up and concentrate on his oral sex skills with her.

The most notorious scene came soon after, when the extremely horny Levenstein experimented with the feel of "third base" that felt like warm, freshly-baked apple pie, according to his friend Oz. When he discovered hot apple pie on the kitchen counter island in his kitchen after school, he stuck two fingers in and stroked the hot pie - and then paused for a moment, before pumping the family's pie just out of the oven (viewed from behind, his bare buttocks thrust into the pie in a missionary position); his stunned dad entered the kitchen and was shocked: (Dad: "Jim?!" Jim: "It's not what it looks like"); the two agreed not to tell Jim's mother about the embarrassing situation by covering up the damage with an excuse as a solution: "Well, we'll just tell your mother that uh, that uh, we ate it all."

Experimentation with Apple Pie

Kevin's research at the library proved to be invaluable - especially a page with illustrations labeled "The Tongue Tornado." During his next sexual encounter with Vicky in her bedroom (with the manual at the foot of the bed to assist), he proved his skilled prowess while delivering oral sex to her - as she loudly yelled out: "I'm coming!" while her clueless father stood outside her door, shrugged his shoulders, and then continued downstairs.

Slightly later, Jim's father had another frank session about masturbation: "Jim, I want to talk about masturbation. Now, I just want you to know that it's - it's a perfectly normal, uh, thing. And I have to admit, uh, you know. I, uh, did a fair bit of masturbating when I was a little younger. I, uh, I used to call it 'stroking the salami'. Yeah, you know, 'pounding the ol' pud.' I never did it with baked goods, uh, but you know your Uncle Mort? He pets 'the one-eyed snake' five, six times a day. See, it's like, uh, practice for the big game. You see? And it's like, it's like, uh, banging a tennis ball against a brick wall, which can be fun. It can be fun, but it's not a game...What you want is, you want a partner to return the ball."

In the film's wildly-publicized centerpiece sequence, Jim had become acquainted with frisky, busty foreign Czech exchange student Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), who had asked to be his study partner, and change her clothes at his house after ballet practice. With his buddies, Jim set up an online voyeuristic experience, to spy on Nadia in his bedroom - viewed through a hidden video-camera web-cam at his friend Kevin's home across the street (with Finch and Jim). Jim rushed over to join his friends to watch Nadia's strip show after arriving and relaxing in Jim's bedroom. Observing everything through the Internet, Paul commented: "God bless the Internet." Nadia was spied upon undressing, lying on Jim's bed topless, and viewing his girlie magazines - and pleasurably masturbating. Jim decided to rush back home to be with Nadia - in person.

After Jim entered his own bedroom, he was welcomed by Nadia in bed. To the beat of music, Jim slowly and clumsily stripped down to his boxers, humped a chair, and then joined the welcoming Nadia in bed who was prepared to have sex with him. But then he prematurely ejaculated twice when she stroked his leg and then removed her panties - disappointing her. Jim didn't know that the web-cam was accidentally broadcasting everything to the entire school body. He became completely humiliated when he realized that his failed escapades had been widely distributed and seen. After the scandalous incident, Nadia was sent home by her sponsors the next day, and Jim became a laughing stock at school.

"God Bless the Internet"

Later, Jim was able to soon hook up with unpopular band camp geek Michelle Flaherty (Alyson Hannigan) and asked her to be his prom date; fortunately, she claimed (although falsely) that she knew nothing about the web-cam incident.

A personal rivalry developed between Steve Stifler and Finch who had always had a reputation for tremendous sexual virility. However, Kevin discovered that Finch had manipulately paid Vicky's friend Jessica $200 to spread false rumors about him to bolster his masculinity. To put him in his place and embarrass him, Stifler spiked Finch's mochaccino drink with Pentalax and in the girls' restroom, Finch suffered a tremendous bout of diarrhea - and tremendous humiliation. By the time of prom night, he was dateless.

After the uneventful prom, where it appeared that none of the four guys was scoring to win their pact, the foursome attended Stifler's post-prom after-party at his Lake Michigan mansion.

At the after-prom party, all four of the males in the pact succeeded in losing their virginity one way or another:

  • Kevin (with Vicky) consummated their love for each other in an upstairs bedroom, although they would soon go their separate ways to different schools after graduation, Ann Arbor and Ithaca
  • Oz (with fellow choir member Heather (Mena Suvari)) announced he had renounced the pact, and then they declared their genuine love for each other before cuddling romantically dockside
  • Jim (with Michelle) listened as she admitted that she was openly-sexual and orgasmic, especially after band camp: "This one time, at band camp, I stuck a flute in my pussy...What? You don't think I know how to get myself off? Hell, that's what half of band camp is -- Sex Ed. So are we gonna screw soon, 'cause I'm gettin' kinda antsy"; dominating him, she aggressively propositioned him to have sex ("Say my name, what's my name, bitch?"), and coerced him into wearing two condoms to desensitize him: "I don't want you coming so damn early this time...Come on. I saw you on the 'Net. Why do you think I accepted this date? You're a sure thing"; by the next morning, she had obviously 'used' and then abandoned him ("She's gone. Oh my God, she used me. I was used. Cool!"

Michelle Aggressively Making Love to Jim

Jim After Awakening the Morning After: "I was used"
  • Finch (with Stifler's much older mother Jeanine (Jennifer Coolidge)) - he seduced her to the tune of The Graduate's theme song - "Mrs. Robinson" - Finch: "So, uh, would you object if I said that you were quite striking?" Jeanine: "Mr. Finch, are you trying to seduce me?" Finch: "Yes, ma'am, I am." (She dragged him over to the basement pool table for sex - occurring off-screen); she complimented him, calling him "Finchy": "I had no idea you'd be this good." He surprised himself: "Neither did I."

Finch at Stifler's After-Party With Stifler's Mom Jeanine

Stifler's Mom Ready to Be Seduced by Finch

"I never did it with baked goods, but you know your uncle Mort, he pets the one-eyed snake 5-6 times a day."

- "It's got to be completely perfect. I want the right time, the right moment, the right place."
- "Vicky, it's not a space shuttle launch, it's sex."

"No wonder you're not psyched about sex. You've never even had one manually?...You've never double-clicked your mouse?"

"No longer will our penises remain flaccid and unused! From now on, we fight for every man out there who isn't getting laid when he should be! This is our day! This is our time! And, by God, we're not gonna let history condemn us to celibacy! We will make a stand! We will succeed! We will get laid!"

Jim's sexual instruction by his insistent father, who supplied girlie magazines and advice about masturbation.

The "I'm coming" scene, when co-ed Vicky Lathum (Tara Reid) was being given oral sex in her bedroom by her boyfriend Kevin Myers, as she loudly yelled out: "I'm coming!" while her clueless father stood outside her door, shrugged his shoulders, and then continued downstairs.

The scene of watching foreign exchange student Nadia via a digital camera web-cam and the Internet, who undressed in Jim's bedroom and then reclined topless on Jim's bed to look at his girlie magazines.

The scene of Jim's openly-sexual geek and prom date Michelle Flaherty (Alyson Hannigan), who described her sexual experiences at band camp.

Jim Caught By Parents In His Bedroom

Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) With Next Female Conquest - Sarah (Eden Riegel)

Stifler Accidentally Drinking Sperm-Brew

Kevin Seeking Advice From Vicky's Girlfriend-Confidante Jessica (Natasha Lyonne) On How to Win Her Back

Jim's Father With Sexual Aids - Adult Magazines

Kevin's Girlfriend Vicky (Tara Reid)

Vicky's First Oral-Sex Orgasm: "I'm Coming!"

Jim's Further Sex-Ed Talks With His Father

Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) - Czech Foreign Exchange Student

Web-Cam of Nadia in Jim's Bedroom Broadcast to the Entire School

Finch Suffering in Bathroom After Stifler Spiked His Drink With a Laxative

Finch Publically Embarrassed by Stifler

Oz's Girlfriend Heather (Mena Suvari)

Growing Love Affair Between Heather and Oz

Four Guys at the Prom (l to r): Oz, Kevin, Jim, and FInch

Michelle's (Alyson Hannigan) Story About Her Sexual Experiences at Band Camp

Heather with Oz After Prom Party

Fight Club (1999)

David Fincher's enigmatic, film noirish psychological thriller - based upon Chuck Palahniuk's novel and scripted by Jim Uhls - was a daring, feverish and dark non-linear satire on manhood in crisis that found a large (and sometimes controversy-invoking) audience with its compelling, grim and twisting story about the destructive effects of consumerism, male insecurities and the glorification of self-destructive violence by a men's fight club. The film's tagline was: "Mischief, Mayhem, Soap."

The audacious opening 90-seconds titles or credits sequence included a reversed pull-back shot (from the "Fear Center" of the protagonist's brain backward alongside various motor neurons and finally exiting a skin pore), finding the fearful, wide-eyed main character with a gun barrel shoved down his mouth.

Tyler Durden's (Brad Pitt) Gun Pointed Into the Mouth of Insomniac "The Narrator" (Edward Norton)

The opening voice-over conversation occurred during a confounding scene as the film's two main characters were confronting each other. The "Narrator"/"Jack" (Edward Norton) was being held at gunpoint (the gun was in his mouth!) by Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), during a count-down to "Ground zero" -- before the demolition of twelve corporate buildings (with credit card company records) by an anti-corporate, anti-consumer, and anti-capitalistic movement known as "Project Mayhem" (and its Demolition Committee) - to theoretically elminate debt and start fresh. Tyler Durden threatened the destruction unless the "Narrator" shot himself.

After the gun was removed from his mouth, the twisting drama was then told in flashback, as the Narrator spoke about his background and how he had first met Tyler Durden. Through subsequent scenes, a review was presented of the Narrator's own unsatisfying and alienated life as a 29 year-old yuppie corporate worker who was increasingly bored, disillusioned, discontented and dissatisfied with his emasculated life and white-collar job. He often traveled in his job, working for an automobile manufacturer as a product recall specialist. In one of the most innovative scenes, he walked through his 15th floor condo-apartment where on-screen visual effects labels identified his furnishings (coffee table, office unit, exercise bike, sofa, lamp, etc.), and asked himself: "What kind of dining set defines me as a person?"

The Narrator attempted to acquire sleep aids for his insomnia, and told his doctor one of his most prominent symptoms: "I nod off, I wake up in strange places. I have no idea how I got there" - a foreshadowing of his coming mental illness. It was suggested that he attend a support group for in-pain, testicular cancer patients.

The Narrator was temporarily cured of his insomnia during an emotional experience in the group, but became addicted to self-help groups, and continued to attend many other group treatment sessions, while feigning illness. During his attendance in many groups over a period of the next year, he encountered another 'big tourist' imposter named Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter). She was deceitfully doing exactly what he was doing, and his insomnia returned ("Her lie reflected my lie. And suddenly, I felt nothing. I couldn't cry. So once again, I couldn't sleep").

During one of his monotonous business trip flights ("This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time"), to insert excitement into his life, the Narrator experienced a suicidal fantasy, imagining a plane wreck to end his life. On one of his flights, he found himself talking to his seat-mate, a soap salesman and part-time waiter and projectionist named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), with a devil-may-care attitude, who gave him his business card - he was a salesman for the Paper Street Soap Co. Tyler also bragged about being able to manufacture explosives out of simple household items before he exited the plane.

Upon his return to his Pearson Towers 15th floor condo-apartment (without his confiscated - or stolen - suspiciously-vibrating suitcase at the airport), the Narrator discovered his building's unit had been destroyed. It was explained through visuals that a gas line ignited and exploded due to an electrical spark from his refrigerator's compressor. [Later, it was revealed that Tyler, via the Narrator, had blown up his own apartment with homemade dynamite.] Without a place to stay, the Narrator contacted Tyler Durden by pay phone and they agreed to meet in Lou's Tavern-bar.

In Bar, Tyler's Criticism of the Narrator's Consumeristic Life-Style

Tyler to the Narrator: "I want you to hit me as hard as you can"

Over drinks, the Narrator was distraught that all of his carefully-selected and brand-name possessions were now non-existent: ("I had it all....I was close to being complete"). Tyler criticized the Narrator's lifestyle, calling him someone who was addicted to consumer items: "The things you own end up owning you," and tried to assure him that his losses weren't very important: "It's just stuff. Not a tragedy."

[Note: Spoiler -- "Tyler" was the Narrator's formation of an alternate identity - and a mental projection of the unnamed Narrator. The entirety of their conversations was within the Narrator's mind, and everyone the Narrator encountered in the film knew him as "Tyler." Until the very end, the Narrator was unaware that Tyler was his split personality, who was sabotaging his conventional life.]

In a night scene outside Lou's Tavern soon marked by violence, Tyler agreed when the Narrator asked to stay at his place. Then, the nihilistic, macho Tyler Durden urged the yuppie Narrator to fight him in an aggressive bare-knuckle fight in the back parking lot: ("I want you to hit me as hard as you can"). Tyler continued to goad the Narrator into hitting him. When the Narrator/ "Jack" struck Tyler in the ear, he responded: ("That was perfect. It really hurts. Hit me again"). [Note: In fact, the Narrator was only beating himself up.] After their antagonistic fight, the two walked to Tyler's dilapidated, condemned "s--thole" building, where he had been living for a year. [Note: The onset of the Narrator's schizoid illness was also approx. a year earlier.]

Over time, others joined the two behind Lou's Tavern to fight each other, especially on Saturday nights. The Narrator found that every other problem paled in comparison to the nocturnal male-on-male violence ("After fighting, everything else in life got the volume turned down....You could deal with anything").

A macho, militant, subcultural group known as "Fight Club" developed when other disenfranchised and disaffected "tough guy" males came to fight on a regular basis inside Lou's Tavern's basement - as a way to vent their male rage and displacement in modern society. The Narrator found excitement (and a cure for his insomnia) and enjoyed pretending to be a victim in the twilight, underground world of the macho "Fight Club" that featured bare-knuckle boxing ("You weren't alive anywhere like you were there...Afterwards, we all felt saved").

The charismatic, anarchic punk and cult leader Tyler was the group's leader, who in the film's most publicized sequence, stated the club's rules and the concept of 'Fight Club':

"Gentlemen, welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club! Third rule of Fight Club: if someone yells 'stop!', goes limp, or taps out, the fight is over. Fourth rule: only two guys to a fight. Fifth rule: one fight at a time, fellas. Sixth rule: no shirts, no shoes. Seventh rule: fights will go on as long as they have to. And the eighth and final rule: if this is your first night at Fight Club, you have to fight..."

Meanwhile after eight weeks passed, the Narrator received a phone call from Marla, who asked about his non-attendance at support groups, and then confessed that she was overdosing on a bottle of Xanax. The phone switched hands, and Tyler traced the call to Marla's home and saved her from dying (off-screen, and later flashbacked) and from cops called to the scene.

Afterwards, he brought her back to the house, and the two began an intense sexual relationship behind his closed bedroom door, bringing some tension to the triangular relationship between the Narrator and Tyler. Marla remained oblivious to the Narrator's alternate personality, and only thought that the Narrator was either confused, sociopathic or a nutcase: "You are such a nutcase. I can't even begin to keep up."

One night, Tyler and the Narrator visited a liposuction clinic's dumpster to steal its sucked-out human fat (deposited in large plastic bags) to manufacture soap. Without the Narrator's knowledge, Tyler was using soap and other ingredients to also produce explosives. Tyler sprinkled pure powdered lye on the "Narrator's" hand - to teach him a lesson and provide a rite of passage: [The Narrator was actually burning his own hand.] Tyler delivered his final conclusion after neutralizing the burn with vinegar: "It's only after we've lost everything that we are free to do anything - Congratulations. You're one step closer to hitting the bottom."

In the next get-together of the Fight Club members, Tyler addressed them:

"Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables - slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy s--t we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war, our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."

Lou (Peter Iacangelo), the owner of the tavern where Fight Club meetings were held in the basement, interrupted the meeting to question what was going on. The Narrator/Tyler allowed himself to be mercilessly beaten up, but then retaliated by sprinkling blood from his wounds onto Lou's face, forcing him to agree to let the group remain.

The situation for the Narrator at work deteriorated when he provoked his manager-boss Richard Chesler (Zach Grenier), by threatening to blackmail him by reporting the illegal use of failed test parts. He demanded to be given an increased salary as an outside consultant working from home, to keep quiet. The Narrator was prompty fired, and then when security guards were being called, the Narrator beat himself up in front of his astonished and disbelieving boss - it was a self-punishing fight, similar to the first fight he had with Tyler. The Narrator appeared to have been assaulted by his boss, and Chesler was framed for hitting him when security arrived at the perfect moment as "Jack" was begging: "Please don't hit me again." He was compensated with a telephone, computer, fax machine, 52 weekly paychecks, and 48 airline flight coupons. Fight Club was able to be funded by its "corporate sponsorship."

Jack Beating Himself Up After Being Fired By His Boss

With the increased popularity of the underground Fight Club holding meetings every night of the week, it began to morph into an organization known as Project Mayhem, that was committing increasingly-destructive acts of terrorism, arson and vandalism. The "homework assignments" to commit criminal acts were handed out by Tyler to each member in sealed envelope, and Tyler preached about his new, more violent philosophy:

"You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your f--king khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world."

Tyler was recruiting young "boxing club" Fight Club members to form an "army" of trainees - those who were ready to sacrifice themselves "for the greater good," to carry out his dirty deeds. One such act was Tyler's violent personal assault in a hotel restroom during a banquet against Police Commissioner Jacobs (Pat McNamara), to pressure him to halt his "War Against Crime" campaign against the Fight Club.

Feeling distanced from Tyler's dictatorial leadership, the Narrator became jealous of the domineering Tyler, and also objected to the new path the club was taking under Tyler's direction - marked by an increase in self-destructive violence: ("I am sick of all your s--t!"). However, he wasn't allowed to ask questions about Project Mayhem. Suddenly, Tyler packed up and was gone.

The Narrator went on a long search to find the less visible Tyler, but felt he was experiencing a perpetual state of deja vu: ("Everywhere I went, I felt I'd already been there"), and was astonished that people were addressing him as Mr. Durden. [Note: He was in his own head where Tyler also lived.] During his travels, when he phoned Marla from his hotel room and asked her if they had ever had sex: ("Have we ever done it?...Have we ever had sex?"), she blew up at him - for being so confused - and she directly identified him as Tyler. It was now clearly revealed that Tyler Durden was actually one side of the split personality-psyche of the Narrator's own imagination.

In his hotel room, the 'twist' ending was made even clearer when Tyler suddenly appeared and engaged in a confrontational conversation with the Narrator ("Jack") - himself. "Jack" asked: ("Answer me. Why do people think that I'm you?"); Tyler responded with another question: "Why would anyone possibly confuse you with me?" And then answered: "Because we're the same person. We are the all-singing, all-dancing crap." The Narrator realized that he was one and the same with Durden - a split personality.

'Tyler' explained the "insane" schizoid phenomenon: ("You were looking for a way to change your life. You could not do this on your own. All the ways you wish you could be, that's me. I look like you wanna look, I f--k like you wanna f--k. I am smart, capable and, most importantly, I'm free in all the ways that you are not...People do it every day. They talk to themselves. They see themselves as they'd like to be. They don't have the courage you have to just run with it. Naturally, you're still wrestling with it, so sometimes you're still you...Other times, you imagine yourself watching me...Little by little, you're just letting yourself become Tyler Durden."

"Jack" was able to locate Marla and apologize to her for his two-sided personality (she called him "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Jackass"), and affirm that he really loved her. She was skeptical of their relationship ever working: "You have very serious emotional problems," and denied his help and protection: "I don't ever wanna see you again!...You're the worst thing that ever happened to me!"

In the explosive conclusion, "Jack" attempted to turn himself into police where he confessed that he was the leader of a terrorist organization, and announced that the suspected Project Mayhem plan was to blow up the headquarters of a number of major credit card companies and the TRW building in the city: ("If you erase the debt record, then we all go back to zero. You'll create total chaos"). He had remembered that "Tyler" had told him about his soap explosive mixtures: ("With enough soap, one could blow up just about anything").

The "Narrator" was frantic that he couldn't subdue "Tyler," and abort the mission. He raced away from the police station (where some of the officers were Project Mayhem members who attempted to silence him) and was unable to disarm the bombs in the building. He also engaged in a fist-fight against "Tyler." He realized that the only way he could destroy, stop or kill "Durden" (and prevent the mayhem) was by destroying him and his voice in his head - by suicidally shooting himself.

The film returned to the opening sequence with only three minutes remaining before the bombs detonated - Tyler was holding a gun in the mouth of the "Narrator." The "collapse of financial history" was imminent ("One step closer to economic equilibrium").

[Note: There was a clever switcheroo in how the Narrator was able to trick Tyler's perceptions about the gun shot. Tyler thought he was rendered dead by a shot through the brain. In reality, the Narrator had shot himself through his cheek. The head shot completely vanquished the "Tyler Durden" side of the personality.]

Realizing that the gun was in his hand and that he was holding the trigger, the "Narrator" fired the gun through his own left cheek - although Tyler believed the bullet was shot into his brain. The gunshot effectively ended the mental projections of Tyler Durden; the Narrator barely survived his own 'enlightenment,' but was unable to stop Project Mayhem - and afterwards, he witnessed the destruction of various skyscrapers with girlfriend Marla Singer at his side as he assured her and told her: "Everything's gonna be fine. You met me at a very strange time in my life."

"Everywhere I travel, tiny life. Single-serving sugar. Single-serving cream. Single pat of butter. The microwave cordon bleu hobby kit. Shampoo-conditioner combos. Sample-package mouthwash. Tiny bars of soap. The people I meet on each flight, they're single-serving friends. Between takeoff and landing, we have our time together. That's all we get."

"We are consumers. We are byproducts of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty: these things don't concern me. What concerns me is celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy's name on my underwear, Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.... F--k Martha Stewart. Martha's polishing the brass on the Titanic. It's all goin' down, man....I say never be complete. I say stop being perfect. I say let's evolve....The things you own end up owning you."

"The First rule of Fight Club is You do not talk about Fight Club. The Second rule of Fight Club is You do not talk about Fight Club..."

"The condom is the glass slipper of our generation. You slip one on when you meet a stranger. You dance all night. Then you throw it away. The condom, I mean. Not the stranger."

"All the ways you wish you could be, that's me. I look like you wanna look, I f--k like you wanna f--k, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not."

"I want you to hit me as hard as you can."

"You met me at a very strange time in my life."

The pullback shot from the Narrator's "Fear Center" inside his brain, during the opening credits.

The IKEA-like FURNI set-piece ("I'd flip through catalogues and wonder, what kind of dining set defines me as a person.")

The many bare-fisted, brutal fights in dark underground basements.

The climactic scene of buildings being blown up during Project Mayhem as the wounded Narrator watched after unsuccessfully trying to blow his brains out, but he had put the "Tyler Durden" side of his personality to rest forever.

The Narrator/"Jack" (Edward Norton) - Dissatisfied, Insomniac and Corporate Worker

Another Support Group "Tourist" Imposter Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter)

The Narrator's Fantasy Plane-Crash

First Full-Blown View of The Narrator's Split Personality - Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) - on an Airplane

Tyler Durden's Business Card

Tyler: "Gentlemen. Welcome to Fight Club"

Tyler Explaining The Rules of Fight Club

Tyler After Winning a Fight

The Narrator After a Bloody Fight

Marla Overdosing on a Bottle of Xanax

Marla in the Narrator's Home - Confused When Asked: "What are you doing here?"

Tyler After Having Sex with Marla

Tyler: "This is lye, the crucial ingredient"

Tyler After Sprinkling Lye on the Narrator's hand: "This is a chemical burn"

Tyler's Main Address to Fight Club Members

Tyler Beaten Up by Tavern Owner Lou (Peter Iacangelo)

Threats Against the Police Commissioner to Halt "War Against Crime" Campaign (Two Views)

The Film's Major Plot Twist - Hotel Room Confrontational Revelation: "Jack"/The Narrator = "Tyler Durden"
("All the ways that you wish you could be, that's me!")

Marla to "Jack": "You're the worst thing that ever happened to me!"

"Narrator" Shooting Himself (and Killing Tyler) in the Conclusion

"Narrator" With Marla Watching Destruction of Corporate Buildings

The Matrix (1999)

Writers-directors Andy and Larry Wachowski's second feature film (following the lesbian-tinged gangster film Bound (1996)) was the ambitious and inventive, kinetic, action-oriented virtual-reality flick It was the .first remarkable film in a series of three futuristic sci-fi action films. See also The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003). The blockbuster's wild popularity among audiences was due to its combination of comic-bookish plot, mysticism, philosophical complexity, computer-enhanced digital effects of its unbelievable action scenes, flying bullet-dodging ("bullet-time") and intriguing virtual worlds in which reality was redefined as a computer simulation.

The film helped to illustrate what the future would be of futuristic sci-fi action films with slick and smart plots, and jaw-dropping action. Tremendous visual effects were combined with Eastern world-denying philosophy, metaphysical Zen statements, Japanese anime, Greek mythology, cyberpunk chic, neo-Cartesian plot twists, film noir, and Biblical and Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) references.

It told about slacker hacker Thomas Anderson / dubbed Neo (Keanu Reeves) who was called as a messianic figure ("The One") to save the world (of approximately the year 2199) from virtually indestructible Sentient Agents, who had created a simulated reality of the world known as the Matrix. They had tapped into humans (as an energy source) to plug in and use their heat and electrical activity.

The film's impressive title screen opening provided a zoom-shot into dripping or cascading Japanese-like characters.

In the opening sequence set in Room 303 of the dingy Heart O' the City Hotel in Mega City, two free resistance members, hackers Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Cypher (Joe Pantoliano), under the direction of their leader Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), were tracking the whereabouts of an unidentified person; after Trinity's line had been traced, three sinister agents (wearing dark suits and sunglasses) - led by Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) entered her hotel room to arrest her; after finishing off law enforcement police officers sent to apprehend her, Trinity fought them off, and fled across a rooftop to the street where she raced to a phone booth and found an "exit" to escape; Agent Smith surmised that the next target that they should find was named "Neo."

In the next major sequence, obsessed computer software hacker Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) (with the alias "Neo") was asleep in front of his computer monitor, unaware of messages scrolling across about a search for Morpheus; he was awakened by more messages summoning him: "Wake up, Neo." "The Matrix has you." "Follow the White Rabbit"; after leaving his place to attend a rave party, he was approached by Trinity who personally introduced herself. Neo was surprised that the well-known hacker who had been trying to contact him with cryptic messages on his computer was female. She warned him: "They're watching you, Neo." She knew he was restlessly searching for answers to the cryptic question: "What is the Matrix?", and told him that the answer was out there.

After arriving late for his programming job at corporate high-rise Metacortex, in his white cubicle, Neo was warned via a package and cellphone call from Morpheus that he was about to be apprehended - the three Agents, led by Agent Smith, seized Neo and he was taken into custody and brought to a white room for questioning - viewed by multiple video camera monitors.

During harsh questioning, Agent Smith proposed a bargain - they would overlook his cyber crimes and "wipe the slate clean" (and give him amnesty) if Neo would cooperate in bringing Morpheus - "the most dangerous man alive" - to justice: ("As you can see, we've had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Anderson. It seems that you've been living two lives. In one life, you're Thomas A. Anderson, program writer for a respectable software company. You have a social security number. You pay your taxes. And you help your landlady carry out her garbage. The other life is lived in computers where you go by the hacker alias 'Neo' and are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for. One of these lives has a future. And one of them does not").

"Neo" appeared to cooperate and called it "a really good deal," but proposed an alternative: "How about I give you the finger and you give me my phone call?" He then went further: ("You can't scare me with this Gestapo crap. I know my rights"), but found his mouth had been fused shut (by programming in the Matrix) and he was unable to speak. Agent Smith counter-threatened: "You're going to help us, Mr. Anderson, whether you want to or not"; before the Agents left, they implanted a living, shrimp-like probe ("bug") in his stomach through his belly-button.

"Neo" awoke from what he thought was a bad dream, and was directed to meet up with Morpheus; after removing the "bug" from his abdomen, Trinity and others led Neo to an upper floor of a dilapidated hotel, where he met the rebellion leader Morpheus, the leader of a group of free humans; cyber-Messiah Neo was given an explanatory description of The Matrix (a massive AI system created by intelligent Sentient beings), and how the entire human race was born into slavery and placed into a false reality known as the Matrix (a simulation of the world in the year 1999): "The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. (Neo asked: "What truth?") That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back."

Morpheus offered Neo a choice - it was a contrast between what was real and not real by the choice of a pill in his open hands and reflected in his glasses: (a red one in his right hand, and a blue one in his left): ("You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Remember, all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more. (Neo chose the red pill and swallowed it) Follow me").

In the next sequence, Neo was disconnected or "unplugged" from the Matrix, after Morpheus asked him: ("What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?") - suddenly Neo (who was hairless and naked, and within a liquid-filled pod and connected to wires to suck out his life force energy) was freed by being unplugged from the main cable connected at the back of his neck; he was snatched and brought onboard Morpheus' levitating hovercraft the Nebuchadnezzar, where he was greeted: "Welcome to the real world."

Neo's Unplugging
Hairless and Naked Neo In Liquid Filled Pod, Literally Plugged Into and Harvested as an Energy-Producing Battery

In an all-white environment known as the Construct, Neo was taught by Morpheus about how the Matrix functioned; he explained how Neo had lived in the simulated dream world of the Matrix since birth; he also gave Neo a view of the darkened, desolute and depressing real world (devoid of sunlight), when AI machines took over the world in the early 21st century, enslaved humans for their electrical power (when solar power was cut off by humans during a war), and created the Matrix ("a computer-generated dreamworld"); Morpheus explained how it was believed that Neo had been prophesied as "The One" to end the war between humans and the machines.

Neo was trained in various combat skills and martial arts via downloads of virtual combat (Jujitsu, Kempo, Tae Kwon Do, Drunken Boxing, etc.), to learn how to hack back into the simulated reality and manipulate the physical laws within the Matrix, thus attaining superhuman powers; Neo ("I know kung fu") had to personally face Morpheus in a kung fu competition; Neo was warned that fatal injuries within the Matrix would also destroy one's physical body.

During a tour of the Matrix, as Morpheus and Neo strolled down a busy street in the downtown area, Neo became distracted by a sexy woman in red (Fiona Johnson) passing by on the busy street. [Note: She was another training 'program' uploaded by Mouse.]; she suddenly changed into the image of Agent Smith with a gun pointed at him. Neo was then warned that they were surrounded everywhere by potential enemies - agents ("If you are not one of us, you are one of them"); Morpheus summarized the main problem: "We have survived by hiding from them, by running from them, but they are the gatekeepers. They are guarding all the doors. They are holding all the keys, which means that sooner or later, someone is going to have to fight them." Neo questioned Morpheus' hopes that he would lead the effort - and presented a question foreshadowing his own future: ("What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets?").

In a side-plot, it was revealed that Cypher (whose name revealed he would be hiding secrets), had become disillusioned by the real world; he met with Agent Smith during a juicy steak dinner, to betray the freedom cause by providing the agent with a means to capture Morpheus, in exchange for a reinserted, comfortable life in the Matrix; the captain of the Nebuchadnezzar could provide them with the access codes to the mainframe of Zion (the last human city, situated underground).

After his training, Neo (and others) hacked back into the Matrix to visit the Oracle (Gloria Foster) - who had prophesied the return of a Messiah-like figure (the "One"); he also encountered gifted young children known as Potentials, one of whom Spoon Boy (Rowan Witt) showed him how to bend a spoon, and then imparted wisdom: ("Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth...There is no spoon...Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends. It is only yourself").

Neo spoke to the Oracle, who was baking cookies in the kitchen in a charming scene, when she asked him the film's central question: "Do you think you are the One?", and then mentioned that he might not be the One; however, he still faced a momentous choice: "You're going to have to make a choice" - between Morpheus' life and his own life ("One of you is going to die. Which one will be up to you...You're in control of your own life. Remember").

While the group was in the Matrix, they were ambushed and one of the young fighters named Mouse (Matt Doran) died; after a fierce fight, Morpheus sacrificed himself to be caught in order to let the others escape from the Matrix; during their frantic return, the group realized that Cypher had betrayed them; Cypher murdered other crew members Switch (Belinda McClory), Apoc (Julian Arahanga) and Dozer (Anthony Ray Parker) before the turncoat was vengefully killed by Dozer's brother Tank (Marcus Chong).

After Agent Smith captured Morpheus in the Matrix, he delivered a speech about how human beings were a virus; he explained how agents such as himself were powerful sentient beings who patrolled the Matrix to eliminate threats: ("Human beings are a disease. A cancer of this planet. You are a plague. And we are the cure").

Morpheus was intensely brow-beaten to force him to extract access codes to the mainframe of Zion: "I hate this place, this zoo, this prison, this reality, whatever you want to call it. I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell. If there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink. And every time I do, I fear that I have somehow been infected by it. (He wiped sweat from Morpheus' forehead onto the tips of his fingers, and had Morpheus smell it.) It's repulsive. Isn't it? (He tightly held Morpheus' head between his hands). I must get out of here. I must get free. And in this mind is the key. My key. Once Zion is destroyed, there is no need for me to be here. Do you understand? I need the codes. I have to get inside Zion and you have to tell me how. You're going to tell me or you're going to die" (He gouged his fingers into Morpheus' flesh but Morpheus refused to talk).

Before the freedom fighters were forced to pull the plug on Morpheus to keep him from divulging the access codes, Neo announced that he had made the suicidal choice to enter back into the Matrix and save Morpheus.

Inside the simulated reality of the Matrix, in a spectacular action sequence set in the downstairs lobby of a high-rise military building - a massive gunfight broke out between the Chosen One (Neo) and Trinity (both wearing long trenchcoats, sunglasses, and black boots) and a group of soldiers-guards; afterwards, the two were able to propel themselves to the rooftop of the high-rise, where a gripping showdown commenced; Neo defied gravity ("bullet time") with mid-air, limbo-style freeze-frames of the dodging of CGI bullet shots and super-heroic gunfight against shape-shifting Agent Smith, before their exciting rescue by helicopter; Morpheus and Trinity were able to safely exit the Matrix.

However, Neo was ambushed by Agent Smith before escaping, and they faced off against each other in a climactic underground abandoned subway station - the two engaged in a long kick-boxing and gun-battle struggle (involving some gravity-defying mid-air conflict and "bullet-time" acrobatics), and then after a long chase through the streets, Neo was shot dead in the abdomen in Room 303 of the Heart O' the City Hotel.

Smith vs. Neo in an Abandoned Underground Subway Station
Agent Smith Shooting and Killing Neo in the Matrix

At the same time in the real world, five machines called Sentinels attacked the Nebuchadnezzar and were breaching its hull.

Trinity whispered to Neo that he couldn't be dead because she loved him and that the Oracle had told her that she would fall in love with the One; she kissed Neo and he revived with the power to perceive and control the Matrix; Neo stood up, raised his arm, and the palm of his hand resisted more of the agents' bullets in mid-air; as the One, Neo finally understood that the bullets fired against him were not real - he saw the Matrix as it really was -- solely lines of downward-streaming computer code (or 'digital rain').

Neo then singlehandedly and effortlessly conquered Agent Smith's attack and destroyed him; when the remainder of the agents fled, Neo returned to the Nebuchadnezzar as the EMP (emergency self-destruct system) was deployed, producing a blast of white light to kill off the attacking Sentinels.

Neo Revived From Death by Trinity's Kiss

Neo Restored and Resisting Bullets

Destruction of Agent Smith

In the film's short epilogue, Neo provided a concluding voice-over, shown as a cursor moving on a black screen, as he made a telephone call from a phone booth in a busy part of the downtown area, within the Matrix. Although the call was being traced, Neo was now in control. In his call to the machine masters who were imprisoning humans, his words were visible as racing columns of descending green code. During the call, the screen froze with a warning: "SYSTEM FAILURE."

He threatened to expose the machine masters, and promised to save the people imprisoned in the Matrix: ("I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid. You're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you").

When the call was completed, he hung up, stepped out of the booth, donned his sunglasses, and flew off straight up.

Neo Flying Away
Neo's Phone Call - Promise to Expose the Machine Masters and Save the People Within the Matrix

"The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. (Neo asked: "What truth?") That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back."

"You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Remember, all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more. (Neo chose the red pill and swallowed it) Follow me."

"What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?"

"I know kung fu."

"Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth...There is no spoon...Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends. It is only yourself."

"Human beings are a disease. A cancer of this planet. You are a plague. And we are the cure."

"I hate this place, this zoo, this prison, this reality, whatever you want to call it. I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell. If there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink. And every time I do, I fear that I have somehow been infected by it. It's repulsive. Isn't it? I must get out of here. I must get free. And in this mind is the key. My key. Once Zion is destroyed, there is no need for me to be here. Do you understand? I need the codes. I have to get inside Zion and you have to tell me how. You're going to tell me or you're going to die."

"I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid. You're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you."

The scene in which Neo was disconnected or "unplugged" from the Matrix, after Morpheus asked him: ("What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?") - suddenly Neo (who was hairless and naked, and within a liquid-filled pod and connected to wires to suck out his life force energy) was freed by being unplugged from the main cable connected at the back of his neck.

Neo's training in various combat skills and martial arts via downloads of virtual combat (Jujitsu, Kempo, Tae Kwon Do, Drunken Boxing, etc.), to learn how to hack back into the simulated reality and manipulate the physical laws within the Matrix, thus attaining superhuman powers; Neo personally faced Morpheus in a kung fu competition.

The visit to the Oracle and Neo's encounter with a young child Potential who could bend a spoon.

The sequence of Cypher's (Joe Pantoliano) betrayal of the freedom cause by providing the agent with a means to capture Morpheus, causing the deaths of many of the resistance fighters.

Agent Smith's capture and torture of Morpheus in the Matrix, and his delivery of a speech about how human beings were a virus.

The spectacular action sequence set in the downstairs lobby of a high-rise military building, followed by the rooftop, airborne kung-fu fight scene between Neo and Agent Smith, with Neo's ability to dodge bullets.

The exciting subway fight between Neo and Agent Smith, followed by the shocking "death" of Neo in Room 303 of the Heart O' the City Hotel, who was then saved by Trinity's kiss, and saw the Matrix as it really was -- solely lines of downward-streaming computer code (or 'digital rain').

Neo's singlehanded and effortless conquering and destruction of Agent Smith.

Hacker Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) Introducing Herself to Neo In a Rave Nightclub

Agent Smith Threatening Thomas "Neo" Anderson

Thomas Anderson / dubbed "Neo" (Keanu Reeves)

Neo's Mouth Fused Shut

Morpheus to Neo: "The Matrix is Everywhere"

Neo's Choice Between Two Pills - He Chose the Red Pill

Morpheus and Neo in the Construct

A Depressing View of the Real Desolate World

Neo's Training with Morpheus in Martial Arts

Test - With Woman in a Red Dress: ("If you are not one of us, you are one of them")

Morpheus: "Sooner or later, someone is going to have to fight them"

Double-Crossing Cypher's Steak Dinner with Agent Smith

Neo With a Child Potential Known as Spoon Boy (Rowan Witt) with a Bent Spoon

Neo Meeting the Oracle (Gloria Foster) in a Kitchen

Tank About to Vengefully Kill Double-Crossing Cypher

Agent Smith's Threatening Speech to Morpheus As He Was Being Tortured

Gravity-Defying Trinity During the Lobby Shoot-Out

Massive Gunfight and Bullet-Time on Rooftop of High-Rise Building

Sentinel (a Search and Destroy Gatekeeper for the Matrix)

The Matrix: Revealed Only as Green Lines of Code

American Psycho (2000)

Director Mary Harron's perversely witty, ultra-violent drama, an adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 novel American Psycho, presented a social satire of the morally-shallow Reagan era with its portrait of the violent psyche of a misogynistic male -- a loathsome 27 year-old narrator/yuppie New York stock executive broker. He assaulted both friends and random victims alike in his expensive apartment and elsewhere, although it was possible that the many murders were only hallucinations in his psychotic head.

The film's title screen sequence opened at an expensive gourmet restaurant on the Upper East Side of NYC in the late 80s, where decorative delicacies were being prepped on white porcelain plates, and orders were being taken for a table of young, wealthy, well-dressed clients. Menu items included squid ravioli and swordfish meatloaf. Four male VP associates were seated, co-workers of the film's main protagonist, Wall Street broker Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), including the anti-semitic Craig McDermott (Josh Lucas), coke-snorting Van Patten (Bill Sage), and Timothy Bryce (Justin Theroux). All were carrying identical, showy American Express Platinum credit cards.

Four VPs of Wall Street's Pierce and Pierce, a Financial Institution

Craig McDermott (Josh Lucas)

David Van Patten (Bill Sage)

Timothy Bryce (Justin Theroux)

Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale)

Afterwards at a nightclub, Bateman chewed out a female bargirl (Kelley Harron) with violent remarks and a smile - was he serious or not? ("You're a f--king ugly bitch. I want to stab you to death, and then play around with your blood"). The next morning in Bateman's clean, neat, and impeccable 11th floor apartment on W. 81st St., he vainly viewed himself in the glass reflection of a framed Les Miserables poster as he urinated. In voice-over, he introduced himself as an avid young man who was obsessed with his own skin care and facial cleansing regimen (with 9 lotions), personal grooming, and body worship through daily physical and stretching exercises.

The well-tanned and narcissistic 'hard-body' Patrick entered work late, wearing a Walkman head set, where he presented himself as an image-conscious, misogynistic entitled power broker who barked orders to his secretary Jean (Chloe Sevigny) to schedule dinner reservations for the week at the most exclusive and hip restaurants. He also insultingly instructed Jean to dress differently: "Wear a dress, a skirt or something," and then flipped on the TV to watch Jeopardy.

After work on the way to a restaurant with his self-absorbed, despised and alleged fiancee Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon), a status and brand-conscious female who was planning for their extravagant wedding, Patrick admitted why he remained at his detested job: "Because I want to fit in." Patrick's friend Bryce was suspected of having an affair with Evelyn, while Patrick was also having an affair with Evelyn's engaged, lithium-using best friend Courtney Rawlinson (Samantha Mathis). During dinner, Patrick provided vacant conversation with some "thought-provoking" political platitudes (equal rights for women, world hunger, homelessness, etc.).

At a Chinese dry-cleaner shop, Patrick argued with a talkative female clerk who spoke broken English, arguing that she couldn't use bleach on his expensive Cerruti sheets that had big blood-red stains on them - he claimed it was from Cranapple juice. At home while speaking on the phone to Courtney, Patrick was watching a porn video. He pressured her to join him for dinner at the exclusive Dorsia's Restaurant, but was laughed at by the maitre-d when he asked for last-minute reservations, so they ended up at an Italian restaurant. Courtney was so drug-addled that she feel asleep.

Patrick's main detested rival associate was handsome and self-confident Paul Allen (Jared Leto). To impress everyone in a conference room, Bateman pulled out a new business card - and then his group of homoerotic cronies, including Van Patten and Bryce, competitively whipped out their cards and compared card stock, coloring, font, font size and layout. The profusely-sweating and trembling Bateman was aghast at the perfection of Allen's impeccable card (given to one of them earlier) when all the cards were comparatively evaluated: "Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark..."

The Flaunting of Business Cards

Patrick's New Business Card

Compared to Van Patten's Card

Bryce's Card

Paul Allen's Card

It was the beginning of an intense dislike for successful yuppie Paul Allen, who was one-upping Bateman at every turn, including securing Friday night dinner reservations at Dorsia's. Patrick continued to be irritated that Allen was mistaking him for another colleague named Marcus Halberstram (Anthony Lemke), and began to scheme how to eliminate his rival.

On his walk home that night, Bateman passed a homeless and destitute man named Al (Reg E. Cathey) in an alleyway, and although he expressed some sympathy, he turned violently accusative, asked the man why he didn't get a job, and then pulled out a knife and stabbed the helpless man three times in the stomach: ("You know what a f--king loser you are?"), and stomped the man's dog to death. At a beauty salon during a facial and manicure treatment the next day, Bateman thought to himself (in voice-over) that he was becoming insanely homicidal:

"I have all the characteristics of a human being - flesh, blood, skin, hair - but not a single clear, identifiable emotion except for greed, and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside me and I don't know why. My nightly bloodlust has overflowed into my days. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy. I think my mask of sanity is about to slip."

At a Christmas party, Bateman suggested that he and Paul Allen go out for dinner, and soon after, they met at the Texarkana Tex-Mex restaurant, where Bateman continued the deception by assuming the identity of Marcus Halberstram. Allen snootily objected to the decor in the almost-empty restaurant: "We should've gone to Dorsia. I could've gotten us a table." Bateman facetiously admitted: "I like to dissect girls. Did you know I'm utterly insane?" Inadvertently, when Evelyn's name came up, Paul began name-calling Evelyn's fiancee: ("Goes out with that loser Patrick Bateman. What a dork!"). Bateman's dastardly intentions were being fulfilled - Allen was getting sloppy drunk, and could be lured back to his apartment.

In a grisly apartment murder scene, as Huey Lewis' 'Hip to Be Square' played in the background - the tune was critiqued by the pompous, falsely-sophisticated Bateman, who lectured Paul Allen (slumped in a chair) while he backed into the living room (with an 80s moon-walk stride) and donned a clear rain-slicker - with a shiny new axe at his side:

"The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far much more bitter, cynical sense of humor...In '87, Huey released this, Fore, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is 'Hip to be Square,' a song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it's also a personal statement about the band itself."

Bateman attacked from behind with his new axe after calling for his drunk victim, associate Paul Allen - to turn around: "Hey, Paul!" He punctuated the gory hacking with anger: "Try getting a reservation at Dorsia now, you f--kin' stupid bastard!" as blood splattered over his face from the impact of the multiple vicious strikes (off-screen) from his shiny new axe head. Afterwards, he stashed the body in a blood-soaked black sleeping bag and dragged it through the lobby of his apartment. He took a cab to Allen's apartment, and packed one of Paul's suitcases with clothes to make it appear that he was on an unexpected trip to London for a few days. He also left a message on the answering machine (in Paul's voice) about his absence.

The next morning, Bateman was visited in his office by Detective Donald Kimball (Willem Dafoe), a private investigator asking about "the disappearance of Paul Allen." The flustered Bateman mentioned how Paul was "probably a closet homosexual. Who did a lot of cocaine...that Yale thing." The interviewer strangely mentioned that Paul may have been seen in London, but it turned out to be mistaken identity. Kimball was stumped: "It's just strange. One day someone's walking around, going to work, alive, and then... people just disappear."

At his home, Bateman furiously did abdomen crunches while watching the horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with women screaming. That evening, the tuxedoed Bateman cruised town in a chauffeured black limo and picked up blonde hooker Christie (Cara Seymour), and hinted that he preferred sex with couples, and introduced himself as Paul Allen. He invited a second redheaded escort named Sabrina (Krista Sutton) to join them. He entertained them with wine, truffles, and the playing of another Phil Collins CD: "No Jacket Required."

With Two Prostitutes Christie and Sabrina, and Posing Vainly to Admire Himself

Bateman conducted a video-taped menage a trois with the two hookers on his bed while rambling on about the lyrics of Phil Collins' songs, including his personal favorite "Sussidio", and making cold and calculating requests of them to dance and perform sexual acts toward each other. Bateman also vainly posed to flex his muscles and admire himself in a mirror in order to re-enact his fantasies from porn films, while having sex. In the middle of the night, he opened a drawer full of sharp devices (scissors, a razor-blade scraper, a hammer, a knife, etc.), telling them: "We're not through yet," but then after an unspecified amount of time - had he tortured them? - he dismissed them with wads of cash.

While drinking with his buddies at the Yale Club, his group of misogynistic males agreed that "there are no girls with good personalities" who were also gorgeous. The only ones who had great personalities were always "ugly chicks" because "they have to make up for how f--king unattractive they are." In the upstairs restroom of the club, Bateman attempted to strangle, from behind, his closeted homosexual colleague Luis Carruthers (Matt Ross) who had just shown off his new business card to the group. The physical advance was misinterpreted as sexual by Carruthers: ("I want you, I want you too..."), causing Bateman to rush out in a panic and quickly exit from the restaurant.

Bateman received a second visit at work from the suspicious Detective Kimball, asking about his whereabouts on the night of Paul's disappearance, December 20th. Afterwards, Bateman had quickie sex with a depressed Courtney in her apartment, who then asked: "Will you call me before Easter?" He tried to divert her attention and special interest in him: "There's nothin' to say. You're going to marry Luis."

At a noisy nightclub with Bryce after snorting cocaine in a womens' room stall, the two were conversing with a group of females, when Bateman in the noisy bar area admitted to dumb blonde model Daisy (Monika Meier) what he did: "I'm into, uh...well, murders and executions mostly" - she heard him say: "mergers and acquisitions." They left the club together in a taxi. At work, where psychopathic Bateman was twirling a lock of Daisy's cut off blonde hair (a clue to her fate as another random victim?), he invited his secretary Jean to dinner (he made a show of making a reservation at Dorsia, although they were fully booked).

In his apartment at 7:00 pm before dinner, he removed frozen sorbet from his refrigerator - noticeably next to Daisy's plastic-wrapped severed head - and afterwards during small-talk conversation, he was tempted to murder Jean while fondling various steak knives and gleaming meat cleavers in his kitchen. He removed some silver duct tape and aimed a nail gun at the back of her head. A phone call from Evelyn interrupted his uncontrollable homicidal impulses as she left a damning message: "I hope you're not out there with some number you picked up, because you're MY Mr. Bateman. My boy next door...." After the call, the "unavailable" Bateman urged Jean to leave or she might get hurt: "I think if you stay, something bad will happen. I think I might hurt you. You don't wanna get hurt, do you?" She agreed: "I don't wanna get bruised."

Jean's Aborted Dinner-Date with Patrick

During a third interview with the Detective during lunch the next day, Bateman learned that his alibi cleared him of wrong-doing on the day of Allen's disappearance, although the detective remained skeptical, as Bateman nervously grinned: "To think that one of his friends killed him, for no reason whatsoever would be too ridiculous. Isn't that right, Patrick?"

That evening in the same deserted area of town, Bateman again picked up Christie in his chauffeured limo, although she was very hesitant: "I had to go to Emergency after last time...", and claimed she might need surgery or a lawyer to press charges. He paid her off with a check, and then with the additional lure of cash ("Half now, half later"), she was pressured into joining him in his "new" apartment - Paul Allen's place. They entered with a second dark-haired prostitute named Elizabeth (Guinevere Turner) - where he drugged her drink and encouraged the two to make out together, as he pontificated about Whitney Houston's songs, including "The Greatest Love of All."

As the threesome engaged in sex on a bed that he was videotaping, Patrick stabbed Elizabeth under a bed sheet where the sheets turned red, and her orgasmic screams turned to loud moans. The nude and bloodied Bateman chased after the panicked, second fleeing negligee-clad hooker Christie, who came upon a few dead females hanging in the apartment's hallway closet and wrapped in plastic bags, and a wrecked room spray-painted with the words DIE YUPPIE SCUM. He continued to pursue her, when in the bathroom, both of them came upon another bloodied female body.

Blood on Patrick's Face After Stabbing Elizabeth

Wrapped Bodies Hanging in Hallway Closet

Discovery of Another Bloody Body in Bathroom

After Christie kicked him in the face - he reacted with rage: "Not the face, you bitch." Christie ran out the apartment's front door, with Patrick following close behind with a roaring chainsaw through the apparently empty NYC apartment hallway of the complex. From the top of the stairwell in the building, Bateman dropped his chainsaw down upon her - she died face-down when it hit her in the back a few flights below.

Soon after, Bateman met with Evelyn in a restaurant who asked for a "firm commitment." He point-blank told her of his issues. In his own words, he clearly declared his warped paranoid psychosis amidst the shallow and empty aspects of competitive and consumeristic corporate culture: "My need to engage in homicidal behavior on a massive scale cannot be, corrected, but, uh, I have no other way to fulfill my needs." He abruptly broke off his engagement with Evelyn: ("It's over, Evelyn, it's all over!"). She reacted in disbelief and called him "inhuman," as he coldly replied: "You're not terribly important to me." As he abandoned her, he gave her his customary excuse for leaving: "I have to return some videotapes."

By this point in the film, he now went on a longer crazed murder spree (a woman at an ATM, a security guard-officer, a janitor, etc.) and shot at two police officers and blew up their patrol car on the way to his office. Believing he was about to be caught, in a sweaty panic, he called up his lawyer Harold Carnes (Stephen Bogaert) and maniacally confessed to everything on the answering machine, including numerous homicides of at least 20 people (of escort girls, homeless people, his old girlfriend, another man with a dog, plus a girl with a chainsaw, a model, and the axe-murder of Paul Allen), and also instances of cannibalism: ("I just had to kill a lot of people and um, I'm not sure I'm going to get away with it this time...I guess I'm a pretty sick guy").

The next morning at Paul Allen's apartment, he discovered it was freshly painted and a realtor named Mrs. Wolfe (Patricia Gage) claimed it didn't belong to anyone named Paul Allen, before she insisted that he leave. He proceeded to join a group of friends at Harry's Bar to discuss dinner reservations. In the bar, he encountered his lawyer Harold who called him "Davis," and said that his earlier call was an "amusing" clever prank that only the "dork...boring, spineless lightweight" Bateman could have made, even when Patrick insisted: "I did it, Carnes! I killed him! I'm Patrick Bateman! I chopped Allen's f--king head off." The lawyer, who felt it wasn't funny anymore, reported he recently had dinner twice with the 'deceased' Paul Allen in London 10 days earlier, so it appeared that Patrick's confession was delusional.

Jean's perusal of Bateman's leather notebook in his desk suggested that the homicidal murders, depicted by his crazed doodlings, were his shocking fantasies of rape, murder and the mutilation of women. Did the murders really happen, or were they only his own murderous impulses and cocaine-induced fantasies? Were the murders all in his imagination, or not?

The film's twist was presented in a blatant monologue confession scene (in voice-over) as the camera slowly panned toward Patrick's face, and called into question what he had actually committed, as he surrendered to the insanity around him. When his two worlds of business and sex/hyper-violence came together, it appeared that the violence was all merely fantasy. He mused to himself about what he had done in the film's concluding voice-over monologue - and wished to inflict his pain upon others:

"There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp, and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this, there is no catharsis. My punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself. No new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing."

"I think my mask of sanity is about to slip."

- "There are no girls with good personalities."
- "A good personality consists of a chick with a little hard body, who will satisfy all sexual demands without bein' too slutty about things, and who will essentially keep her dumb f--king mouth shut."
- "The only girls with good personalities who are smart or maybe funny or halfway intelligent or talented, though God knows what the f--k that means, are ugly chicks."

- "When I see a pretty girl walking down the street, I think two things. One part of me wants to take her out, and talk to her, be real nice and sweet and treat her right...."
- "And what did the other part of him think?"
- "What her head would look like on a stick..."

Bateman's extensive facial cleansing regimen and physical exercise routine every morning.

The comparison of business cards scene.

Bateman's crazed axe killing of rival Paul Allen in his apartment.

The scary dinner-date with his secretary Jean.

The shocking revelation that Bateman's murders seen on screen were actually crazed doodles in his notebook of his fantasies of rape, murder and the mutilation of women.

Bateman's ending monologue confession.

Four Identical American Express Platinum Credit Cards

Bateman's Glass Reflection - On a Les Miserables Poster

Removing a Facial Peel Mask

A Typical Day at Work - Watching Jeopardy

Patrick's Fiancee Evelyn Williams (Reese Witherspoon)

Drug-Using Courtney Rawlinson (Samantha Mathis)

Rival Associate Paul Allen (Jared Leto)

In a Tanning Bed: "I think my mask of sanity is about to slip"

Soon-to-Be Victim Paul Allen In Bateman's Apartment

Bateman's (Christian Bale) Axe Murder of Paul Allen (Jared Leto): "Try getting a reservation at Dorsia now!"

Questioning by Detective Donald Kimball (Willem Dafoe)

Bateman's Misinterpreted Physical Assault in Restroom Upon Luis Carruthers (Matt Ross)

Courtney Desperate for Patrick's Love

Blonde Model Daisy (Monika Meier) at NightClub

Daisy's Severed Head in Patrick's Refrigerator

2nd Prostitute Elizabeth (Guinevere Turner)

Chain-Saw Pursuit and Murder of Hooker Christie in Stairwell

Patrick's Break-Up With Stunned Fiancee Evelyn: "It's over, Evelyn"

Patrick's Maniacal Confession on Answering Machine to Lawyer

Patrick's Crazed Psychotic, Homicidal Doodlings In His Notebook

Bateman's Monologue Confession

Gladiator (2000)

Director Ridley Scott's spectacular, historical adventure epic, a popular Best Picture winner and big-budget blockbuster (over $200 million), revived the subgenre of 'sword and sandal' films of the Roman Empire. (Although greatly enhanced with CGI-digital effects, it revived the memory of dramatic historic-epic films and 'sword-and-sandal' spectaculars of the 50s, such as Quo Vadis? (1951), Ben-Hur (1959) and Spartacus (1960).)

Its basic tale of good vs. evil, betrayal, and revenge - was about an outcast Roman general (and single-minded rebel-hero) Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) seeking vengeance for betrayal and his family's death.

Set in 180 AD, it told the story of the life of a heroic trusted and capable Roman Army General Maximus. In the film's opening, he delivered an address to his troops before battling Germanic barbarians, under the command of kindly Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris):

"Fratres! Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. Hold the line! Stay with me! If you find yourself alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled, for you are in Elysium, and you're already dead! Brothers: What we do in life echoes in Eternity."

After the Romans were victorious in battle due to Maximus' leadership, Marcus Aurelius was betrayed by power-hungry Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), his treacherous and devious son, who was astounded when told he would not succeed to the Emperorship: "You will not be emperor....My powers will pass to Maximus, to hold in trust until the Senate is ready to rule once more. Rome is to be a republic again." Commodus felt he had been rejected as a son, and listed the virtues he had that his father hadn't recognized, such as ambition, resourcefulness, courage, and devotion. He then asked: "What is it in me you hate so much? All I ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar. Father." After Commodus' father admitted, as he sank to his knees: "Your faults as a son is my failure as a father," Commodus committed patricide in order to take the throne away from his father, by smothering and asphyxiating his father as he hugged him tightly: "Father. I would butcher the whole world if you would only love me!"

Maximus narrowly escaped execution during the change of power when he was able to overpower the guards in the forest ordered to kill him by Commodus. However, his own wife (Giannina Facio) and young son (Giorgio Cantarini) were both murdered in their home in Spain. He discovered the charred and crucified bodies of both his son and wife in the smoldering home of their villa.

The spectacle of the Roman Colosseum's gladiatorial battles and contests was balanced with royal intrigue involving the resentful heir to the Roman throne.

The condemned, enslaved former loyal General Maximus, turned Colosseum-gladiator named "The Spaniard" (Russell Crowe), was trained by slave owner Antonius Proximo (Oliver Reed) in Zucchabar in North Africa to fight in the Roman Colosseum; Proximo wisely advised "The Spaniard": "Learn from me. I was not the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom."

"The Spaniard" decisively and bloodily butchered a number of hefty, armored gladiators and then mocked and questioned the chanting crowds, to gain their popular support: "Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?"

During a mock recreation of the Battle of Carthage (Zama) that pitted Carthaginian Barbarians (the original losing side) against Roman competitors (the original winners), the "Spaniard" urged Proximo's gladiators to work together as a team: "Whatever comes out of these gates, we've got a better chance of survival if we work together"; he led them to a decisive victory against the more powerful forces.

In a dramatic scene after the spectacular victory, treacherous Roman Emperor Caesar Commodus descended into the arena to congratulate the winners - and Commodus ordered the lead gladiator ("The Spaniard") to identify himself. The heroic "Spaniard" introduced himself: "My name is Gladiator," but then when he was confronted and ordered to remove his face-hiding helmet and reveal his true identity and name - he slowly turned, removed his disguising helmet, and defiantly declared vengeance for the assassination of the elderly Emperor Marcus Aurelius and the brutal murder of his own family:

"My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North. General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."

The crowd chanted: "Live, live, live!" - refusing to allow the Emperor to slay his opponent - and he gave a thumbs up signal ("Guards, at rest!"). Meanwhile, the Emperor had a twisted and incestuous relationship with his sister Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), a widowed single mother, while she romanced Maximus.

Further hellish action sequences of battle occurred in the Colosseum (with chained tigers - often digitized) when Commodus exclaimed: "At my signal, unleash hell" - "The Spaniard" fought without his mask single-handedly in an intense battle in the Colosseum against Rome's only undefeated gladiator - the legendary Tigris of Gaul (Sven-Ole Thorsen).in which Maximus defied the Emperor's thumbs-down decision to kill his wounded opponent Tigris.

In the meantime, the increasingly-unstable Commodus learned of a growing conspiracy against him, led by Maximus who was planning to assemble his loyal legions, overthrow the illegitimate Emperor, and give back power to the Senate; he described the plotting against him with a comparison to past Roman history: ("The emperor Claudius knew that they were up to something. He knew they were busy little bees"); Maximus was able to briefly escape but was captured, while Proximo and other gladiators were killed.

To gain public favor, Commodus personally challenged Maximus to engage in a final confrontational one-on-one battle to-the-death with him in the "great arena":

"The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. Striking story! But now, the people want to know how the story ends. Only a famous death will do. And what could be more glorious than to challenge the Emperor himself in the great arena?"

Commodus first stabbed Maximus in the chest (puncturing his lung) with a stiletto while he was bound, to gain an advantage and win approval from the crowd; during the contest in his last moving moments of life, the mortally-wounded, slowly-dying Maximus vengefully stabbed the Emperor in the throat with his own hidden stiletto and killed him, after Commodus had dropped his sword and no one would provide him with another (Quintus (Tomas Arana) had shouted: "Sheathe your swords!").

Weary and dying from his own wounds, Maximus saw himself entering into his home's wooden gates in the afterlife. Before dying, he ordered Quintus (Tomas Arana): "Free my men, Senator Gracchus is to be reinstated. There was a dream that was Rome. It shall be realized. These are the wishes of Marcus Aurelius."

As he succumbed in the arms of Commodus' sister Lucilla, his own ex-lover, he told her (his final words) that her own son Lucius (Spencer Treat Clark) was safe: "Lucius is safe"; she urged him to go to his own murdered family: "Go to them"; as he perished, his body floated upwards and he experienced visions of his family in the afterlife as they greeted him on a dusty road and he was wading through waving yellow reeds; she reassured that he had greeted them: "You're home."

Death of Maximus

Lucilla stood up and addressed everyone: "Is Rome worth one good man's life? We believed it once. Make us believe it again. He was a soldier of Rome. Honor him." Fellow gladiators surrounded Maximus and carried his body out of the arena.

In the film's conclusion: newly-freed gladiator Juba (Djimon Hounsou) buried Maximus' two small statues of his wife and son in the dirt of the Colosseum where Maximus died ("Now we are free. I will see you again, but not yet. Not yet").

In the film's opening, Roman army General Maximus Decimus Meridius addressed his troops before battling Germanic barbarians: "Fratres! Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. Hold the line! Stay with me! If you find yourself alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled, for you are in Elysium, and you're already dead! Brothers: What we do in life echoes in Eternity."

"Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?"

And Maximus' reveal to Commodus: "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."

The Colosseum Fight Sequences.

Maximus' death scene - as he perished, his body floated upwards and he experienced visions of his family in the afterlife as they greeted him on a dusty road and he waded through waving yellow reeds. She reassured that he had greeted them: "You're home." Lucilla stood up and addressed everyone: "Is Rome worth one good man's life? We believed it once. Make us believe it again. He was a soldier of Rome. Honor him." Fellow gladiators surrounded Maximus and carried his body out of the arena.

During Battle, Maximus: "Hold the line! Stay with me!"

Maximus' (Russell Crowe) Discovery of the Murder of His Family Members

Murderous Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) Upset at Being Passed Over as the New Emperor by His Father Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris)

Maximus Fighting Off His Would-Be Executioners In the Forest

The Entrance of "The Spaniard" Into the Arena

"The Spaniard" in the Arena: "Are you not entertained?

"My name is Gladiator"

"My name is Maximum Decimus Meridius..."

"The Spaniard's" Fight Against the Legendary Tigris

"Thumbs Down" Order Defied

Commodus Stabbed to Death

Lucilla's Address After Maximus' Death

Burial of Two Statues

Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)

Director Dominic Sena's glossy, testosterone-gassed up, action-heist film was a glossy remake of the 1974 fast car classic (featuring a climactic demolition-derby, destructive car chase), with a new plot and characters. Its main carbooster (thief) was ex-car thief Randall "Memphis" Raines (Nicolas Cage) who was called out of retirement - it was Cage's 3rd action film for producer Jerry Bruckheimer (after The Rock (1996) and Con Air (1997)).

The film made a clear connection between sex, 'ladies' (slang term used for cars) and automobiles, to the point of creating a fetishized worship of four-wheeled cars: ("Hello, ladies. I always was a sucker for a redhead"). Although the film was criticized for being very mediocre, it was a very successful film at the box-office (on a budget of about $100 million, it made domestic revenue of $101.6 million and $237.2 million worldwide).

In this stereotypical, by-the-numbers, predictable film with cliched conventions throughout, anti-hero "Memphis" Raines had gone straight in 1994 and had been working for about six years as a teacher of kids learning about Go-Kart racing. According to various statistics, car thefts had gone done 47% in the Long Beach area after "Memphis" had retired.

His younger irresponsible, undisciplined and impulsive brother Kip Raines (Giovanni Ribisi), who had followed in his idolized brother's footsteps and taken over the auto theft business in the LA area, was hired for $200,000 dollars ($10,000 advanced) to steal 50 high-end cars for a psychopathic, wealthy British gangster, car dealer, woodworker and crime boss named Raymond "The Carpenter" Calitri (Christopher Eccelston) working in Long Beach, CA. During the heist of the vehicles, Kip led the police on a foolhardy joy ride to the warehouse where the 50 stolen cars were being stored, and the whole lot of vehicles was impounded.

Kip was apprehended by an angry Calitri and his henchman - and was threatened with being crushed in a car-cruncher machine. Atley Jackson (Will Patton), a former crew member for "Memphis" who was now an associate of Calitri, contacted Kip's older brother "Memphis" about the situation with Kip. "Memphis" reluctantly decided to come out of retirement and met with Calitri and his gang. Under the threat of being killed and having his brother crushed before his eyes, he was forced to accept the deal: (Calitri: "You accept the job, you steal some cars, you make some money and you be a big brother").

"Memphis" agreed to steal 50 cars (before a deadline of 3 days - 72 hours - ending at Friday 8 AM when the cars were scheduled to be shipped to South America), and deliver them to the Long Beach Naval Shipyard's Pier 14 (to be immediately loaded into shipping containers), to repay the 'debt' owed to Calitri and fulfill the order. A digital countdown on the screen began to tick downward toward the deadline.

Almost immediately, "Memphis" had to avoid suspicious stakeout cops of the Governor's Regional Auto-Theft Bureau - the GRAB unit - Det. Roland Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo) and Det. Drycoff (Timothy Olyphant), who were on the lookout for him after the failed heist. They were alerted to his presence back in LA, and confronted him outside a diner where he had just spoken to his waitress mother Helen Raines (Grace Zabriskie). Seeking retribution for not putting "Memphis" away six years earlier, the obsessed Castlebeck warned "Memphis" to stay in line: "You make one slip, and I will put you away for good."

Afterwards, "Memphis" began to reassemble some of his former LA car-heist gang members for the job:

  • Otto Halliwell (Robert Duvall), Raines' former mentor, now settled down as a auto-body shop owner
  • Donny Astricky (Chi McBride), a DMV employee and a frazzled driving school instructor at the Pleasure Cruise driving school, first seen in a car with an inept female Asian driver
  • The Sphinx (Vinnie Jones), a large-framed, brutish, but mute mortician
  • Sara "Sway" Wayland (Angelina Jolie), a tough, blonde-dreadlocked chick with tattoos, a daytime mechanic and night-time bartender; "Memphis'" ex-girlfriend (soon to be reunited)
Memphis' Ex LA Car-Heist Gang Members - Recruited to Rescue "Memphis"' Brother Kip From Retribution-Death by Crime Boss Calitri

Otto Halliwell (Robert Duvall)

Donny Astricky (Chi McBride)

The Sphinx (Vinnie Jones)

Sara "Sway" Wayland (Angelina Jolie)

Otto was very skeptical when "Memphis" sought him at his auto-body shop and was back in town after many years. When asked, he gave his opinion of Calitri as "a jackal tearing out the soft belly of our fair town," and then asked: "Are you considering a come-back tour?" He became further worried that "Memphis" was after 50 cars in only three days, but then volunteered to help him recruit by phone whoever was interested and available.

After reacquainting himself with "Sway" at her day job, "Memphis" pursued her to her bar job, where she enticingly invited "Memphis" to have sex with her - with car references: "Do you wanna get a little crazy? There's a Cutlass 4-4-2 in the back. We could strip down and shine the hood. Whaddya say?" However, she said she couldn't help because she had cleaned herself up and wasn't "into the life anymore."

Otto's auto-body shop was used as the gang's HQs for the car job. Some of Kip's crew members - Tumbler (Scott Caan), Mirror Man (T.J. Cross), Freb (James Duval), and (Toby William Lee Scott) - were also recruited for the heist.

The night before the heist, in a memorable monologue, "Memphis" explained to his brother why he had chosen to "boost" (or sexually "pluck") the 'beauties' after their father died, and then why he quit the "easy money":

"I didn't do it for the money. I did it for the cars. Gleaming in Marina blue, Sunflower yellow, Marlboro red. Begging to be plucked. And I'd do it. I'd boost her - and just blast to Palm Springs, instantly feeling better about being me. And then the next day, it seems like, I'm getting shot at, my friends are dying, people are going to jail. I didn't like what I'd become."

Memphis' team began to stake out the various vehicles they had to steal in the next few days, including a variety of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches, and other automobiles that were selected after the DMV database was hacked. The cars were code-named with female names, such as:

  • Madeline (1959 Cadillac Eldorado)
  • Carol (1999 Cadillac Escalade)
  • Stefanie (1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible)
  • Nadine (1967 Ferrari 275 GTB4)
  • Gina (1994 Lamborghini Diablo SE30)
  • Samantha (1999 Mercedes-Benz S600)
  • Tina (1999 Porsche 996)
  • Eleanor (1967 Ford Shelby GT500) - a rare customized vehicle - and the final car on the list

The last car to be stolen was "Eleanor" - a vehicle that had given "Memphis" problems in his past.

In the film's most exciting chase sequence about 25 minutes before the film ended, "Memphis" was pursued through the city of Long Beach and into and then out of the South Harbor Shipyard by the police and the detectives. At one point, an errant large compressed air tank flew through the air and caused considerable damage. "Memphis" evaded capture by avoiding a wrecking ball but a pursuing Jeep Cherokee directly behind him wasn't so lucky - the vehicle was side-impacted and was sent through a concrete wall, while the car trailing with the two detectives close behind also rear-ended the Cherokee. Det. Drycoff asked the battered cop: "Are you alright?...Are you sure? 'Cause you just went through a wall."

Afterwards with only about 4 minutes until the deadline, "Memphis" found that he was blocked by an accident on the Vincent Thomas Bridge. He was forced to rev up the "Eleanor" to speed the car onto a tow-truck ramp, and propel it into the air to the other side of the blockage. He was able to deliver the battered "Eleanor" at the junkyard 12 minutes past the deadline, but Calitri rejected it ("I asked for 50 cars, not 49 1\2") and ordered his henchmen to kill "Memphis" and crush "Eleanor."

During the film's final cat-and-mouse pursuit in a Naval Yard warehouse involving "Memphis," Calitri, and the two detectives, "Memphis" saved Detective Castlebeck's life (who was being threatened at gunpoint) by kicking Calitri to his death off a catwalk railing. He fell backwards through layers of glass rafters and ironically landed in a coffin he had previously threatened to put Kip into. Castlebeck rewarded "Memphis" with letting him go free ("You saved my life, didn't you? So what am I gonna do?....Get outta here, Randall"), as "Memphis" informed him about the location of the container ship at Pier 14 with the 49 other 'boosted' automobiles.

At a BBQ celebrating their success, Sphinx unexpectedly spoke profound words in a soliloquy - with a British accent - reacting to "Sway" feeding the injured, youngest member of the team - Toby (William Lee Scott): "If his unpleasant wounding has in some way enlightened the rest of you as to the grim finish below the glossy veneer of criminal life and inspired you to change your ways, then his injuries carry with it an inherent nobility, and a supreme glory. We should all be so fortunate. You say poor Toby? I say poor us." The crew was so surprised that "Memphis" asked: "Hey man, I thought you were from Long Beach."

In the closing scene, "Memphis" and "Sway" drove off in Kip's and Otto's thank-you gift (presented with its keys in a small box) - an old, rusted-out and battered "heap" needing restoration that he also named 'Eleanor,' but it soon stalled and "Memphis" was heard saying (off-screen): "Oh, don't do this to me."

"Kip that's not a tool, that's a damn brick! Kip, man we gonna use a brick, we may as well call prison and make reservations!"

- "Am I an arsehole? Do I look like an arsehole?"
- "Yeah."

- "What do you think is more exciting? Having sex or stealing cars?"
- "Having sex or boosting cars. Um, oo! Well, uh, How about having sex WHILE boosting cars?"
- "Oh, that's a good line. Doesn't work on a lot of girls, though."

"I just stole fifty cars for you in one night! I'm a little tired, a little wired, and I think I deserve a little appreciation!"

The opening scene of the theft of a silver Porsche 996 inside a fancy car showroom, by driving it through the large plate glass windows.

The final spectacular car chase with the 50th stolen car - a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT 500 (nicknamed Eleanor) being pursued throughout Long Beach by black BMW 5 Series police cars.

Randall "Memphis" Raines (Nicolas Cage)

Atley Jackson (Will Patton), Calitri's Associate

Raymond "The Carpenter" Calitri (Christopher Eccelston) - British Crime Boss, Woodworker and Car Dealer

Kip Raines (Giovanni Ribisi)

Det. Roland Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo)

Det. Drycoff (Timothy Olyphant)

"Memphis" and His Memorable Monologue to Kip: "It did it for the cars"

"Memphis" Driving Eleavor to the Shipyard - With Detectives and Police in Pursuit

In Shipyard - A Wrecking Ball Destroyed a Wall and a Police Jeep Cherokee

Blocked Vincent Thomas Bridge

Heading Toward Ramp on Bridge, Soaring Into Air, and Coming Down Safely on the Other Side

Death of Calitri

The Sphinx' Sole Words Spoken in a British Accent at the End of the Film During a BBQ

"Memphis" and "Sway" Riding Off in Broken-Down "Heap" - Another 'Eleanor'

The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Director Rob Cohen's mindless but thrilling and sleek crime film was another copycat example of a guy film with booming explosions and pyrotechnics, loud car stunts (races, chases, flipping vehicles and wrecks), heists, and fast women provided for eye candy. The exploitational cult film's drag-racing authenticity was enhanced by technical-sounding car terms such as NOS ("Nitrous Oxide System") and Motec exhaust systems.

The success of the film led to a media franchise of Fast and Furious films - 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), The Fate of the Furious (2017), Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019), F9 The Fast Saga (2021), and Fast X (2023).

In this first of many spin-offs about illegal and underground street racing, the film opened with a high-speed chase and hijacking conducted on an LA area freeway, between three modified black Honda Civics (with a green glow underneath and Mashamoto ZX tires) and a Rodgers semi-truck filled with millions of dollars worth of electronics equipment from China recently picked up in shipping containers. Shaved-head, muscle-bound LA auto-body shop mechanic, ex-con and 28 year-old street-racing leader Dominic "Dom" Toretto (new action hero Vin Diesel), who was recently released from serving a term of two years in Lompoc, was suspected of being the hijacker.

Dominic "Dom" Toretto (Vin Diesel)

Dom's Pretty Younger Sister Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster)

LAPD Undercover Cop Brian O'Conner/Spilner (Paul Walker)

Gang Leader Johnny Tran (Rick Yune)

Handsome 26 year-old LAPD officer Brian O'Conner/Spilner (Paul Walker) was tasked with investigating the series of highway heists, and opened his case by working undercover at a high-performance car parts store known as Racer's Edge, for the store boss Harry (Vyto Ruginis). He questioned Dom's 23 year-old sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), an innocent female gang member who managed and worked at the Toretto's family store - Toretto's Market & Cafe, and was confronted by Dom's loyal gang members, Vince (Matt Schulze), Leon (Johnny Strong), and ADHD afflicted, technical mechanic Jesse (Chad Lindberg). The suspicious and jealous Vince engaged him in a fight shortly later, broken up by Dom.

To infiltrate further into Dom's racing crew and gang, Brian joined a dangerous and illegal street drag race in South Central Los Angeles organized by Hector (Noel Gugliemi), where he competed in a lime-green 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse RS (with a NOS system) against Dom (in a red 1993 Mazda RX-7). "Dom" put up $2,000 to buy into the race, while Brian wagered his Eclipse. The two were driving against Edwin (Ja Rule) (in an Acura Integra), representing rival Vietnamese gang leader Johnny Tran (Rick Yune), and Danny Yamato (R.J. de Vera) (in a white Honda Civic). Dom masterfully won the race (Danny 2nd and Edwin 3rd place) - with girlfriend Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) as his prize trophy, when Brian overloaded his NOS system and blew up his engine's manifold going at 140 mph, and his car came to a halt and started smoking. Even so, Brian boasted that he almost beat 'Dom", but was mocked and criticized for his poor racing abilities and loss ("You almost had me? You never had me! You never had your car!...")

When the LAPD arrived to break up the scene, Brian picked up Dom (who had stashed his car in a parking garage and was on-foot) in his Mitsubishi and helped him to escape, but they were shortly later ambushed in Little Saigon by Tran's threatening, gun-wielding biker gang members and his cousin Lance Nguyen (Reggie Lee). They admired Brian's car - and then reminded "Dom" of next month's desert races - and said they had a surprise. The gang sped off, but then returned and raked Brian's Eclipse with machine-gun fire (it exploded into flames due to its NOS canister system). Soon after, Brian brought a rusty MK4 Toyota Supra to Dom as a replacement for the Eclipse - and it began to be restored.

While continuing to investigate "Dom" and Tran's finances, and also involved in a tentative dating relationship with Mia, Brian was shown evidence that Tran's gang was NOT conducting the truck hijackings (DVD players discovered in their garage were legally purchased). After becoming closer to "Dom" and his family, Brian was questioned about his camaraderie, loyalties and allegiances, and was suspected of going "native" and adopting the urban and macho drag-racing lifestyle and culture. He also learned that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies were beefing up their involvement. At the same time, he began to have growing suspicions that Dom was behind the truck heists. He was able to keep Dom from becoming suspicious by claiming that he was spying on their competition in anticipation of an upcoming race.

At the legal, competition-styled Race Wars in the desert's summer heat, the surly but sexy Letty won her race against a Rasta Racer (David Douglas), but Dom's gang member-friend Jesse lost (in his father's white 1995 MK3 Volkswagen Jetta) in a race against Tran (in his Honda S2000), but afterwards refused to pay up with the car's pink slip. Afterwards, a bitter brawl erupted between "Dom" and Tran (who had just been the subject of a police raid), who accused Dom of getting him into trouble with the authorities, and for selling him out as an informant and disrespecting his family.

Jesse (Chad Lindberg) Foolishly Betting in a Race Against Tran

Tran Before Winning His Race Wars Contest Against Jesse

Although Brian was targeting Tran, he was shocked to realize that Dom was conducting the late-night heist raids. After the Race Wars, Brian confided in Mia about his true identity and his worry about her brother's safety.

To help out, Brian and Mia drove to the scene of the fifth and botched hijacking of a semi-truck near Thermal, CA. At the scene, they found that Vince had been critically wounded by a trucker's gunshot and pinned against the truck's front right door. Brian saved him by having them both jump back into his orange 1995 Toyota Supra being driven by Mia parallel to the truck. They also found Dom's sexy girlfriend Letty who had been run off the road and had rolled her car.

Mia and Brian Arriving On the Scene of Dom's Truck Heist

Saving Vince's Life With His 1995 Toyota Supra

Brian Blowing His Cover to Dom When Phoning For Medical Assistance for Vince

As Brian called for medical assistance for both of them, he deliberately unmasked himself as an LAPD officer. Dom was incensed to learn that his friend was a cop.

As the film was concluding, Jesse (in his father's white Jetta) was pursued by Tran and his dirt-bike gang for not paying up, and was gunned down in a drive-by shooting by the machine-gun wielding bikers after he drove up to Dom's house. Both Dom (in his father's black 1970 Dodge Charger R/T) and Brian (in his restored orange 1995 MK4 Toyota Supra) joined together to chase after Tran and Lance on motorcycles. It ended up with Dom side-swipping and forcing Lance to run off the road and to sail down a steep incline. Meanwhile, Brian caught up to Tran, shot him in the abdomen and caused him to flip over and lethally crash into a wall. Dom fled and Brian took off in pursuit.

To end the film, Brian and Dom challenged each other to race a quarter-mile toward a railroad crossing. Both took off when the stoplight turned green, and both cars were able to beat and evade an approaching train on the tracks. But then, Dom glanced over at Brian and was unable to avoid hitting the front of a green semi-truck pulling into the street, causing him to barrel roll over Brian's Supra and then flip a few times.

Brian declined to arrest the slightly-injured Dom, and fulfilled his earlier promise at their first race to give him a 10-second car. He handed over the keys to his rebuilt Toyota Supra. The two parted amicably. In the film's epilogue after the end credits, Dominic was in Baja, Mexico driving a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS.

"You almost had me? You never had me! You never had your car! Granny shiftin', not double clutchin' like you should. You're lucky that hundred shot of NOS didn't blow the welds on the intake. Almost had me? Now me and the mad scientist gotta rip apart the block, and replace the piston rings you fried! Ask any racer, any real racer, it don't matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning's winning."

"You can have any brew you want - as long as it's Corona."

"I smell skanks. Why don't you girls just pack it up before I leave tread marks on your face?"

"I live my life a quarter mile at a time. For those ten seconds or less, I'm free..."

The innovative, zooming camera shot through a car's transmission system during a drag-race.

The final exciting hijacking of a truck, with a driver armed with a shotgun.

Hi-Jacking of Semi-Truck by Three Honda Civics

First Nighttime Street Drag Race

Paul in His NOS-Powered Green Mitsubishi Eclipse

"Dom" in Red Mazda RX-7

Street Race Loser Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker)

"Dom"'s Put-Down of Brian For Losing the Street Race

Brian's 1995 Mitsubishi Ambushed by Tran's Biker Gang After Street Race

Brian's Mitsubishi Exploded

Competitive Race Wars in the Summer Heat in the Desert

Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) In the Driver's Seat Before Winning Her Race Wars Event Against a Rasta Racer

Jesse Shot Dead by Tran on a Bike in a Drive-by Shooting

Brian Vengefully Shooting At Tran on a Motorbike and Killing Him

Dom and Brian Racing
to a Railroad Crossing - With Train Approaching

Dom's Spiraling Roll After Crashing Into a Green Semi-Truck

Jackass: The Movie (2002)

Also, Jackass Number Two (2006), Jackass 3D (2010), Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013), Jackass Forever (2022)

The episodic film was a more extreme, feature-length theatrical version of the controversial MTV-show of the same name, about the execution of various dangerous, painful and death-defying stunts by a masochistic group of twenty-something misfit males (self-proclaimed 'jackass' pranksters), who would appeal to frat-house audiences and other slackers.

The cautionary tagline for this outrageous, juvenile, and tasteless unscripted docu-comedy stunt film (with no plot, characters, script or sets) was "Do not attempt this at home."

The insane, scatalogical film, sometimes similar to Candid Camera, was also full of buttocks-anal images, genitalia (all male), barfing vomit, bodily fluids, unbleeped profanity, and alligators!

There were too many to mention:

  • defecating in an uninstalled display toilet in a hardware store
  • wearing Panda costumes in Japan
  • eating a cone of snow soaked in one's own urine ("yellow snowcones")
  • a live alligator planted in a kitchen
  • self-inflicted paper cuts
  • bowling head-first on a skateboard
  • riding down a railing on a skateboard
  • disrupting golfers' swings by blowing airhorns
  • using a rental car in a demolition derby (and then returning it to the dealership)
  • snorting wasabi in a sushi bar ("wasabi snooters") and vomiting
  • crawling through mousetraps with rodent makeup
  • crashing a golf cart in a miniature golf range
  • masturbating underwater with a sea cucumber
  • suspending oneself over alligators with a jock-strap filled with raw meat
  • roller-blading with attached bottle rockets ("rocket skating")
  • a disguised elderly man stuffing his clothing with shoplifted goods in a store
  • the X-raying of a guy who had shoved a toy car up his rectum

In the segment titled: "Ass Kicked By Girl," one of the characters fought against a female Japanese martial arts expert, predicting ahead of time: "I'm about to get the s--t kicked out of me by a girl."

Rental Car Used in Demolition Derby

Golf Cart Crash

Bowling Headfirst on a Skateboard

Suspended Above Alligators

xXx (2002)

Also, XXX: State of the Union (2005), XXX: Return of Xander Cage (2017), and more.

Director Rob Cohen's PG-13-rated action spy thriller featured the breakout star of his previous year's hit The Fast and the Furious (2001) (see above). It starred Vin Diesel as unemployed, anti-authority, cyber-savvy bad-ass and extreme-sports daredevil and stuntman Xander Cage. The glamorized spy film, with wide plot holes, an illogical story-line and corny dialogue, had a booming techno soundtrack and well-choreographed stunts of fiery explosions at a Colombian drug ranch, skydiving, soaring motorcycles in a helicopter chase, and a snowy avalanche. It was noted as a very-cliched and thin copy-cat version of a James Bond film, involving cartoonish European terrorists with thoughts of world domination.

Its tagline hinted at the film's theme: "A NEW BREED OF SECRET AGENT." [Note: Triple X was the name of the Russian secret agent (the Bond Girl Major Anya Amasova) in the 10th Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).]

The initial efforts of the US government's National Security Agency (NSA) were to infiltrate into a underground group of anarchists named Anarchy 99, that was suspected of Russian biochemical weapon-warfare. They had developed and/or obtained a Soviet-era biological weapon dubbed "Silent Night" that had been presumed missing since 1991 - the date of the fall of the Soviet Union.

A government agent Jim McGrath (Thomas Ian Griffith), who had been sent to infiltrate the group and retrieve the weapon, had failed in his mission when his identity was discovered by Anarchy 99, and he was shot in the back during a heavy-metal German band concert at Rammstein - he stood out conspicuously by wearing a tuxedo!

At NSA's Remote Intelligence Facility in Mt. Weather, Virginia, one of the NSA's top agents, facially-scarred Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson), recommended finding a replacement agent who had no previous government ties - such as a convict, a mercenary, or a contract killer ("The best and brightest of the bottom of the barrel...Programmable, expendable, effective").

In the next scene set in Sacramento, CA at a members' only club, conservative, racist, morally-superior California State Senator Dick Hotchkiss (Tom Everett) drove his red Corvette sports car convertible up to a parking area, where he left his car with the valet - the rule-breaking, unorthodox, muscle-bound, gruff-voiced and tattooed Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) - identified by triple-X tattoos on the back of his neck. Cage sped off in the car, and as he drove away captured on live video CrashCam broadcasts how the State Senator had attempted to ban rap music (for its violent lyrics) and video games. He was protesting the Senator's political views by stealing his car - and found himself pursued by a phalanx of police cars. With his gang members, he had prepared for the car to be driven off a bridge while he sky-dived and parachuted from it as the car crashed below him, with threatening warnings: ("You've just entered the Zander Zone...The moral is, don't be a 'dick', Dick!").

Parachuting From State Senator's Stolen Red Corvette Driven Off a Tall Bridge

That same evening in a club-bar where Cage was praised as an anti-hero for his illegal behavior, a SWAT team abducted him and drugged him (with a dart shot into his chest). The NSA put him through two tests of his abilities and skills. Cage found himself awakening in a roadside diner where he noticed some obvious discrepancies (and deduced that the entire situation was staged and fake) - the nervous, imposter waitress was improbably wearing high heels (which would cause blisters), and a dressed-up Wall Street broker was reading about the markets on a Sunday. He "aced" the test by easily thwarting the robbery, although he exhibited a "poor attitude." Gibbons remarked: "Why is it always the assholes who pass the test?"

Xander's First NSA Test - A Faked Diner Robbery

Cage's second test, along with other recruits, was to be dropped from a plane into the Colombian jungle, at the site of a Colombian drug cartel's cocaine plantation. He soon realized that it was a "real" test of his abilities after being captured by "El Jefe" (Danny Trejo) wielding a machete during torture. Cage was able to expose the cartels and successfully escape on a motorcycle during a fierce Colombian Army raid. He jumped tall barbed wire fences while pursued by a helicopter, as flames and explosions engulfed the compound's structures.

The Second NSA Test

Cage Captured, Strung Up, and Tortured

Colombian Drug Cartel Leader "El Jefre" (Danny Trejo)

Triple X's Escape Amidst Flames on a Motorcycle From Drug Cartel's Plantation

Speaking to Cage who had proved his worth, Gibbons identified him - wanted and hunted FBI criminal who was wanted for reckless endangerment and grand theft auto - as a possible tough-guy, undercover special agent for the NSA's European task. Gibbons recruited/blackmailed him into a governmental service mission in exchange for a pardon and clean record: ("I'll make all your criminal transgressions go away"), or otherwise threatened jail time. Cage reluctantly agreed - he was dubbed Agent Triple-X.

Cage journeyed to Eastern Europe (Prague, Czech Republic) to investigate the group of Russian anarchists led by ex-Soviet Army soldier, ex-KGB agent, and megalomaniacal, renegade criminal Yorgi (Marton Csokas), by attempting to infiltrate into their underground group named Anarchy 99. He purposely outed a member of his own NSA support team, Czech agent Milan Sova (Richy Müller), in order to ingratiate himself with the sinister Yorgi and his younger brother Kolya (Petr Jákl) who as a fan-boy idolized Cage. Cage negotiated with Yorgi to acquire high-end sports cars (a front for financing their anarchic terrorist plans), and met one of the other extremist commandos - leather-booted, flirtatious, sultry and sexy Yelena (Asia Argento), Yorgi's girlfriend and the second-in-command.

With techno-weapons and gadgets geek-specialist Toby Lee Shavers (Michael Roof), Triple X was provided with special "Eagle Eye" X-Ray binoculars (with "every little boy's dream - a penetrator mode" allowing one to see through walls and clothes). When xXx had the opportunity during a car deal in a warehouse, he shot Sova with one of genius Shavers' tech-toys - a trick special revolver, and used blood splatter to fake Sova's death. As a result, he became a full-fledged member of Anarchy 99.

During xXx's search for the bio-chemical nerve-agent weapon "Silent Night" at the group's castle HQs, he realized that Yelena was breaking into Yorgi's secret safe. At a restaurant, he revealed his true NSA identity to her ("I'm a secret agent") although at first she didn't believe him. She soon became his love-interest.

As xXx continued to search for the bio-weapon and bring down Yorgi, his cover was blown by double-agent Sova, and a sniper was sent to kill him, but failed. The NSA's and Special Forces plans to invade the castle and seize the bio-weapon were compromised, but xXx refused to have NSA Agent Gibbons return him to the US.

xXx (with Yelena) continued with their espionage mission, and overheard Yorgi in his underground secret weapons lab at the castle describing details about the anarchist's plan. They were about to launch AHAB - a solar-powered speedboat-drone-sub that would release the "Silent Night" weapon in a series of chemical attacks upon 10 major cities in Europe.

AHAB - The Solar-Powered Speedboat-Drone-Submarine

They watched as the nihilistic and vengeful Yorgi experimented with the bio-chemical weapon and killed all of the scientists who had developed both the super-weapon drone/boat-sub and three phallic-shaped rockets containing the poisonous bio-agent gas. He sealed off the room and then filled the 'gas chamber' with the "Silent Night" chemical weapon, and then coldly watched as they begged to be released.

After killing Kolya with a special bandage bomb and fleeing, xXx was then threatened by Sova who admitted why he had switched sides, before Sova was killed by incoming fire from Yelena through a wooden door, fortuitously saving xXx's life. She revealed her true identity to xXx ("I'm an agent as well") - she had been an undercover Russian Federal Security Board (FSB) agent working on Yorgi's case for two years - but had been abandoned. Cage was ordered home by Gibbons, but refused, because he wanted to stay and help save Yelena's life. Just before the planned invasion of the castle, Cage negotiated political asylum for her in the US, in exchange for information about Anarchy 99's plans.

During the Czech Special Forces raid of Yorgi's castle HQs, xXx executed his own plan to disrupt communications by interfering with the go-ahead signal. In a snowy mountainous region of the Czech Republic, he parachuted from a plane near Anarchy 99's communication tower, then threw a few grenades behind him, prompting an avalanche that destroyed the tower and about a dozen gang members on snowmobiles below, and was able to out-snowboard down the mountain ahead of the avalanche. At the bottom, he was captured by Yorgi, who admitted he knew about Yelena's identity and had also seized her.

xXx was able to free himself with Yelena during the launching of the castle attack. Yorgi had already launched the dreaded AHAB sub to target the center of Prague, and then fled in the opposite direction in a motorboat. xXx was able to kill Yorgi with machine gun fire as he fled in a motorboat - causing his boat to crash and explode into a rock wall. However, xXx feared Gibbons' and the Czech military would use destructive airstrikes from jets that would spread the bio-agent - fortunately, Gibbons ultimately called off the airstrikes.

Meanwhile, to neutralize the AHAb, xXx raced after and tracked down the launched and speeding steel drone-speedboat/sub in the river, and from his weaponized Pontiac GTO driven by Yelena on a parallel road, he was able to fire a steel cable to miraculously harpoon the boat, and then he para-sailed (on an American Flag chute) on the cable to transfer himself to the boat - where he disabled and destroyed the AHAB by reversing the direction of the 3 firing rockets (containing the green bio-agent), sinking it ("Welcome to the Zander Zone") and blowing it up.

In the film's epilogue, xXx was vacationing in Bora Bora with Yelena, and ignored further job requests from NSA Agent Gibbons.

"[Video games] It's the only education we got!"

"Where's the peanuts?"

"It was only a Corvette."

"Do I look like a fan of law enforcement?"

"You ever get punched in the face for talking too much?"

"Dude, you have a bazooka. Stop thinking Prague Police and start thinking PlayStation. Blow s--t up!"

"If you're gonna ask someone to save the world, you'd better make sure they like it the way it is."

The scene of xXx stealing and then driving California State Senator Dick Hotchkiss' red Corvette off a 700-foot bridge, and escaping by parachute from the back of the vehicle to elude dozens of pursuing highway patrol cars.

The mountainside avalanche scene, with Triple X barely escaping in front of it on a snowboard ("Nothing like fresh powder").

NSA Agent Jim McGrath (Thomas Ian Griffith) Before His Death at Rock Concert

NSA Agent Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) - His Idea to Recruit a Convict as a NSA Agent

Xander Cage's (Vin Diesel) Mug Shot

Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) In the Diner Robbery Test Scenario

Xander's 3 X Tattoos On the Back of His Neck

After the Second Test, Gibbons Recruited Cage, as Triple X, to Become a Replacement Undercover Agent in Prague

Renegade Anarchist Villain Yorgi (Marton Csokas) with Girlfriend Yelena (Asia Argento)

NSA's Tech Gadget Guy Toby Lee Shavers (Michael Roof) - The X-Ray Binoculars

Yelena in Restaurant Learning That Triple-X was a "Secret Agent"

The Killing of Yorgi's Own Scientists in a Sealed "Gas" Chamber

Yelena's Revelation to xXx After Gunning Down Sova: "I'm an agent as well"

Triple X Snowboarding Down Mountain After Causing Avalanche

Just Before the Death of Yorgi on a Fleeing Motorboat

Triple X Harpooning the AHAB With a Cable From A Moving Car

Para-Sailing on the Cable to Transfer Himself From the Car to the AHAB

Triple X Atop the AHAB With Phallic-Shaped Rockets to Disable Them

Epilogue: Cage and Yelena in Bora Bora, Tahiti

Greatest 'Guy' Movies Of All Time
(chronological, by film title)
Intro | 1960-1965 | 1966-1969 | 1970-1973 | 1974-1976 | 1977-1979 | 1980-1981 | 1982-1983
1984-1987 | 1988-1991 | 1992-1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996-1998 | 1999-2002 | 2003-2009

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