Outside a plant, a lavender explosion occurs. Victoria Beckham as Catwoman from Batman Returns, somewhat out of focus, dances by a rocket
Melanie Brown, wearing electric blue cat ears, smiles while Melanie Chisholm is in Chinatown. In her bedroom, Emma Bunton, as Carol Ann from Poltergeist, raises her hands, a blinding white flashing as a strong wind blows through the window. In black-and-white, Geri Haliwell, as Gilda from the eponymous movie, stands on stage and then falls into some soldiers’ arms.
Bunton looks to the sky, shocked by her power. Brown dances, her movie scenario still unclear. Haliwell, her back towards the camera, gives an over-the-shoulder glance and snaps her fingers.
An explosion happens near Melanie Brown, where she seems to be reenacting Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, perhaps playing Virginia Hey. She stands on a tank as sparks fly around her. The tank drives through the ravaged city.
A stuffed teddy bear and a red rotary phone fly in Bunton’s bedroom.
In Chinatown, where Chisholm, as Tracy Tzu, sits on a box while men perform karate. Bunton sits on the end of her bed, looking out her window. Then, the image morphs into a clip from Spice World, where she is sucking on a lollipop. The Spice Girls run on the tour bus. Beckham screams as she speeds through the city. She quickly turns the wheel. Brown looks out the bus window.
The soldiers carry Haliwell on their shoulders.
Back to the Spice World film clips, Beckham slams on the brakes, nearly crashing into two nuns. The Spice Girls’ manager (Richard E. Grant). An audience cheers.
Chisholm kicks a guy in the chest, knocking him down. As Haliwell sings, the soldiers dance behind her. Inside the missile silo, people begin to evacuate as sparks begin to emit from the rocket.
In the film clips, Haliwell removes her blonde wig. The Spice Girls march out of a home in camouflage. At night, the group searches for something and finds a spaceship.
Chisholm continues to kick while more things fly in Bunton’s bedroom.
In the film clip, the group almost tips over in a boat. Chisholm and Haliwell wake up, thinking it was a nightmare. A man on a bike sails across the screen in Brown’s scene.
From the movie, Bunton screams when she sees the bomb. Then, they all scream.
A ball of fire fills the screen in Beckham’s scene.
In the clip, the girls hold onto each other on top of the tour bus.
People flee the missile silo.
The girls put on their best sparring faces. Beckham winks.
The explosion takes over the screen.
The various recreations of film scenes and the Spice World actual scenes fuse together, which turns the video into an homage to movies rather than a full-out promotional pitch.
However, it’s not without its flaws. There were several Mad Max and Poltergeist sequels, making it difficult to discern which movie they are referencing. Since mostly 80s movies were picked, the sequels would be from the same era. It’s not obvious from the setting.
But there are some successes. Chisholm’s “Year of the Dragon” finds her in the passive girlfriend role, sitting around while the men fight. It’s an obscure movie choice, which takes some research to find out what it is. Beckham’s Catwoman is the easiest to figure out, considering the enduring popularity of comic-book based movies.
Haliwell’s Gilda, though, is the exception to the rule. It’s a classic, based on a movie made released in 1946 with its original black-and-white. Even without seeing it, it grasps the spirit of the film with some modernization.
Spice World, though, is a B-movie and its intentional campy scenes stick out against the polished recreations. Perhaps if they had gone with early 90s movies instead, it would’ve been in the same decade.
Director: Howard Greenhalgh Year: 1997