So recently I was on one of my pilgrimages to Las Vegas, you know, just aiding the needy and making sure the world is a safe place, I was walking around I start to think of all the movies that have used this oasis as it's setting. And a marvelous setting it is! The lights, the action, the never knowing what might in store for you around the next corner. It is a city of excitement and mystery. Movies even seem to reflect the city from the awesome times (Casino) to the "Oh my God, why did I just do that?" (Showgirls). They have always made them here, and they always will, but there is a fix that needs to be made. I don't mean a gambling fix either.
Why can't Hollywood get the map of Las Vegas correct? Maybe I am nit picking, but there are some ridiculous errors that occur and I need to call them out on a few of them. Some of these have been floating out there for awhile but the final one that I will touch on is probably what broke my back on this issue.
Now maybe you can write this one off to the age of the main characters and the fact that they might be drunk. It is in Vegas. There is a scene where they are in a cab going from Binion's (downtown) to the Aria (the Strip). The traffic on the Strip is a parking lot so they all decide to ditch the cab and walk the rest of the way. They happen to be in front of the Mirage at the time. All is well if you are not 70 ish, with luggage and a very long way off if you are familiar with these locations, but this is not the real issue. The real issue is that they head off in the wrong direction. I'm pretty sure that you can see the Aria in the background that they are now walking away from. Cut to next scene and we are all refreshed and relaxed in the Aria. Maybe they know about a monorail that I, nor anyone else, has been made aware of.
Let's get into the meaty ones here. We know the plot......convicts take over a plane, Nic Cage talks really funny, John Cusack looks amazed by something, and Nic Cage has weird hair as always. Fast forward to the end and the plane is going down smack dab onto the Vegas Strip. BOOM!!! It lands on the Strip and goes skidding along causing more mayhem than that insurance dude on TV could ever think of. Then it happens, the fiery hulk of a plane comes to halt at the front doors of the Hard Rock. The problem here is that the Hard Rock is about 2.5 miles away and not on the actual strip. I don't think there is a monorail that goes that way either. If there is one, I pretty sure it could not hold a freaking cargo plane. Maybe I missed something because I have seen Malkovich do some strange stuff, but I'm positive this may be a little goof up.
Editors Note: This movie is perfect, long live Nic Cage
Resident Evil: Extinction
First of all, stop messing with Vegas in movies. It seems like every post-apocalyptic flick has to show Vegas either being destroyed, you hear me Godzilla and 2012, or in the decay of the apocalypse. Not entertaining! This one takes on the role of the later. Our merry band of heroes roll in the ruins of Las Vegas and start to take a look around. They send I guy up into the the Eiffel Tower, located at Paris, to look out while the rest of the group goes "next door" to the Venetian to check out some cargo containers. Now follow this list: Harrah's, The Linq (Imperial Palace at the time), Flamingo, The Cromwell and Bally's. That was a list of all the casinos in between these two. I understand that the desert sands may have flooded into the city and pushed a few things around, but come on! Mother nature is strong but I have a hard time grasping that two massive building were pushed past 5 others to be next to each other.
So I see the trailer for this one and it looks like the exciting blur of action that all of the Bourne movies are. Then I see that part of this takes place in Vegas. I've got to see this one and I'm thinking "Hey, it's a Bourne movie. They seem kind of smart. I'm sure they will fact check everything." Yup, my hopes where broken like the jaw of one of Jason's enemies. This was the straw that broke this camel's back. Remember when that Con Air plane crashed on the strip? Well Jason is now doing the the same thing in a car, with company of course, in a nice chase scene.
Then it happens.
Headed north on the Strip they take a right a Bally's, drive a little further and then crash into some steps. I know those steps. I've seen them a hundred times. Then.... then... they crash through the front doors of the Riviera. The Riviera is located back on the Strip about 2 miles away. WTF!!! It's like the whole movie is shot for me now because they did not go over anything about the teleporter that got the car to the monorail that went the speed of light down to the Riviera and then teleport it down and threw it through the front doors. Uhggg!!! I'm exhausted thinking about it.
Hollywood, you are smarter than this. Trust me, a lot of your ticket buyers are too. I know that you go here all the time, and I realize that there is some dramatic licence that is taken with most movies. I think you are just partaking in too much of the party that is Vegas and forgetting what you saw. I have of heard of such things happening, but this may be hearsay. I am just there to make sure the world is a better place. Which is why I am writing this in hopes that Hollywood will realize that smarter is better and don't bet on your audience not knowing. Those who don't know will now know. Those who do know may have an experience ruined for them. Why alienate? Make it great for all. Keep those assistants sober to fact check your creativity.
P.S. Just for fun. Here are a few of the great continuity errors that have occurred in "Vegas" movies.
Diamonds are Forever - James Bond drives a car on two wheels into a narrow alley and comes out the other side on the other two wheels.
Oceans Eleven (2011) - Rusty is talking to Linus about Tess. Rusty is holding a glass with shrimp cocktail in it. Cut scene, cocktail now on a plate. Cut scene, back in the glass. This one had to be on purpose as a joke and it cracks me up every time.
Oh... I almost forgot... Leaving Las Vegas - I have never seen a prostitute as attractive as Elizabeth Shue. Not that I look at prostitutes... and well... I will stop now.
Todd Reardon, aka Movie Yoda, is a senior writer for Cinema Soapbox. He knows more about movies than you do.