Video Review: Taylor Swift & Kendrick Lamar “Bad Blood”

Inside an office building, Catastrophe (Taylor Swift) throws a businessman onto an empty desk and gets another in a chokehold, pulling him down to the carpeted floor. There, she takes out some lipstick and refreshes the color. Her partner, Arsyn (Selena Gomez) dislocates another businessman’s shoulder and then pulls him back up, allowing Catastrophe to punch him.

Catastrophe punches another man, cartwheeling over him and then sits on a rolling desk chair, which she uses to take out another businessman. Arysn gives him a light kick and hits another man. Arysn takes out her compact, which shows Catastrophe fighting another man with a suitcase in the reflective mirror. After winning the battle, Castarophe pushes her back. Arsyn then blows powder in her face, blinding her. Castarophe covers her face and Arsyn grabs the suitcase from her. Arsyn then kicks a shocked Castarophe threw the glass window of the skyscraper. Arsyn, her face lacking remorse, gloats as she fulfills her revenge.

Catastrophe lands on a car, breaking the windshield. From the car, she enters a chamber, where her body is examined. Welvin Da Great (Kendrick Lamar) rests his feet over the controls. Welvin Da Great’s second-in-command, Lucky Fiori (Lena Dunham) exhales smoke from her cigar.

In split screens, half of Catastrophe’s face is shown with Welvin Da Great’s. In another, is a side-by-side perspective of them.

Lucky Fiori supervises the data coming through the examination and then determines further healing is needed. The healing is provided by The Trinity (Hailee Steinfeld), who put their hands on her shoulders.

In the locker room, Dilemma (Seryah) cocks her gun and punches the wall, creating a dent. Slay-Z (Gigi Hadid) opens her compact and presses a button inside, turning it into a weapon and then shoots. Destructa X (Ellie Goulding) is armed with her machine gun.

Catastrophe bursts through a wall, causing it to crumble behind her as she enters the training room. There, she works with Homeslice (Martha Hunt) on her fencing skills inside a box, which records the data.

She consults with Welvin Da Great in a clear car.

Mother Chucker (Cara Delevingne) drops her purse, revealing another weapon which Catastrophe waits for. Cut Throat (Zendaya) snarls, putting a knife by her throat as Castaphrophe holds two knives up by her, preparing to learn. Cut Throat juggles the knife in the air and then hits a stuffed teddy bear right between the eyes. The Crimson Curse (Hayley Williams) does a flip.

In a winter simulation, Catastrophe wears a furry white hood as Frostbyte (Lily Aldridge) closes her eyes. In the snow, she and Castaphrophe practice fighting in frigid weather conditions.

Catastrophe chews the leather off on her glove and boxes in a ring with Knockout (Karlie Kloss). After defeating Knockout, she works on her motorcycle skills. She puts on her helmet and races through a course built-in a warehouse with Domino (Jessica Alba).

Using her boot, Catastrophe lights a match on her bomb. As she passes through the hallway of the administration, Justice (Mariska Hargitay) and Luna (Ellen Pompeo) nod with approval. Headmistress (Cindy Crawford) nods at her, telling her training is finished.

In the city, explosions occur behind Catastrophe (in the center) with some of her team members in tow, providing backup. On the other side, Arsyn snarls as her own team approaches the center of the road. Mother Chucker snaps her gun.

Catastrophe and Arsyn, now face to face, aim their sharp weapons towards each other’s heads.

Rating: 5/5

The dystopian world of “Bad Blood” finds women divided as they battle their main enemy: the businessmen taking advantage of their workers. Arsyn (Selena Gomez) has bought into the cynicism plaguing the city and becomes a double agent. Feeling disadvantaged and undervalued, she thinks Catastrophe (Taylor Swift) is the root of her problems.

Catastropheretreats to a chamber, where a lone male advisor (Kendrick Lamar) oversees her health. Otherwise, women head all supervisory positions, including top-level administration. After receiving their strategy, Castaphrophe and her team walk into a burning London and fight a bitter Arsyn.

While there are some positive feminist undertones (every woman has a powerful position and if one does well, is given a deserved promotion within the organization), Arsyn exhibits an underlying problem: competition in the ranks.

Arsyn may have been a problem they believed they could control. Perhaps they thought she had reformed and listened to their warnings. However, Arsyn did whatever she wanted to and manipulated the system. It is only when Arsyn puts one of their own in danger that it merits attention. But it seems to be treated as a one-off and not a cultural problem in the organization, which looks the other way when it involves bullying.

The video builds its own fully realized, flawed world with its disenfranchised individuals and those willing to fight against it. The cracks in the world’s bureaucratic system move the plot forward as Catastrophe reaches level after level.

The entertainers involved, ranging from actors to models as well as other singers, each have a purpose. They bring their own personality into their characters. Lena Dunham’s Lucky Fiori is the insider, a businesswoman learning tips as she gets hired as a secretary in the offices. Ella Goulding’s Destructa X is decimating and Seryah’s Dilemma is one tough woman who has gone through plenty. Meanwhile, Cara Delevingne’s Mother Chucker has resigned herself to the violence.

Director: Joseph Kahn Year: 2015


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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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