Remember that movie The Bucket List? The Joker and Lucius Fox are dying of some kind of old-person disease, and luckily for them, one of them happens to be stupid rich, so they go romping around the globe for one last kick before they get stuffed in a casket. One of the things on their list has them hanging out on one of the pyramids. Looking over the landscape of old tombs, they decide that they have witnessed something majestic.
"Check this shit out."
That's how we like the pyramids -- the last wonder of the world sticking out from a deserted and endless sandbox that, if we are lucky enough to visit first-hand, can be scaled and explored. Along with, of course, the thousands upon thousands of other people attempting to do the exact same goddamn thing every day.
Not to mention the hundreds of local merchants and the array of buses that bring thousands of people to and from Cairo, which, by the way, is like right next door.
Oh, and did we mention the security and the admittance fees? Sure, Morgan Freeman can climb the pyramid, but only so many feet up and only after he pays out the ass for it.
His bucket list apparently includes transients and a gate.
If you decide to visit, be prepared. Almost every modern account of the pyramids from your average tourist has at least one story of being pestered by a merchant or being overwhelmed by a huge crowd. It's like Disney, only with fewer water fountains.
There is a chance that you are not even aware of the Miami sign, so here is a shot of it from Bad Boys:
And here it is again in Bad Boys II, because Michael Bay is nothing if not subtle:
Aaaand here it is again in Transporter 2:
Again with a plane -- in this case a plane that crashes into it. And again, it's shot from the same unrevealing angle. So one would assume that there's an airport somewhere nearby, right? Or maybe a bus station? Something that would require a sign to remind everyone what city they just arrived in? Well, in actuality, the sign isn't in Miami at all -- it doesn't exist.
Go ahead and Google "Miami sign." Seriously, go do it right now. If you did, you probably found this picture of it:
That would be the 50-by-15-foot prop sign made by the company Set by Design -- which when contacted about it told us that it was made for the film Transporter 2 and was based on no actual sign in Miami.
This is disturbing for two reasons: First, the prop sign there isn't the same sign that's in Bad Boys or Bad Boys II, which you can tell by just looking at them (notice the font alone). In fact, all three signs are different, meaning someone built at least three versions of this imaginary sign. The second reason is that these two franchises were not even made under the same directors, writers or production companies, which means there are at least two people in the world who couldn't think of a way to establish that their film was taking place in Miami other than literally writing it out in big letters, via a fake landmark.
Films like Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Way of the Gun and Once Upon a Time in Mexico have given us all that same fantasy: Rob a bank, hightail it down to Mexico and live the rest of your days resting in a wooden chair drinking tequila under a sombrero in a town that looks something like this:
Yep. Living the good life.
Suddenly, some pissed-off drug lord you ripped off shows up, and a full-blown firefight erupts -- swarms of old ladies covered in knit blankets cry out in Spanish while crossing themselves and running into one of the four churches in sight. After a long and grueling battle, the drug lord is dead, and you move on to the next town, a traveling honorable gunman who will draw only when he has to.
Turns out that you are actually on the back lot of Universal Studios Hollywood, because no freaking town in Mexico actually looks like that anymore.
See, when you actually go to Mexico City, you can't help but notice that the buildings not only are not a series of tan churches (in fact, Mexico has at most 7,000 churches, while the U.S. has around 450,000) but also seem like they came from the future.
By LAR Fernando Romero, Arturo Robles Gil
And as you may remember, there were not a lot of gunfights on The Jetsons.
There are no banditos running around raping and pillaging -- in fact, the U.S. has twice as much rape and about 20 times more theft. Not to mention roughly four times as many overall crimes, so, you know, go America. If you were on the run from the law and rolled down to have a barroom knife fight with Danny Trejo, the cops would arrest the shit out of you. Then they'd send you right back to the U.S. to be tried and jailed, because Mexico is actually nowhere close to being a safe place for American criminals.
Obviously we're not trying to say that there is no crime in Mexico -- it certainly has its share of drug-related violence. It's just not a lawless action-movie free-for-all.
Although we'd like to think that Enrique Iglesias carries around a rocket launcher, just in case.
David Bell is a freelance writer and video editor.
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Be sure to check out more things you're wrong about in 6 Things From History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly and 5 Fictional Stories You Were Taught in History Class.
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