3Waterworld's Map Tattoo Is Off by Several Thousand Miles
In Waterworld, Kevin Costner must protect a small girl from fiendish pirates because her back is tattooed with a "map" to Dryland, the supposed last piece of Earth above water. The problem? It's in Chinese. So, after a whole slew of maritime death and destruction, and after blowing a $200 million budget, Costner and company defeat their enemies, decode the map using a copy of China Airlines magazine and head off to Dryland.
Mankind's last hope is a tramp stamp.
What the Tattoo Really Says:
The idea is that the tattoo is coordinates in Chinese for Mount Everest. Well, that's what they're supposed to be. In reality, Costner's band of adventurers should have spent a long time drifting around the world in confusion, because the tattoo gets it wrong by several thousand miles.
"Hey, if you squint hard enough, the plot starts to make sense."
Once again, there was a genuine attempt to do Chinese coordinates. But it looks like Enola's tattoo was written by an intern who dropped out of introductory Chinese in college (it actually uses a Japanese character in one place instead of a Chinese one, because hell, all those languages are kind of the same, aren't they?). You'd think with their gigantic budget they could have paid a guy ...
Anyway, if we clean it up a little, it should look something like this:
Now, unfortunately, the biggest mistake of the map is that the coordinate's directions aren't given -- there is no north, south, east or west. As a result, there are four possible points on Earth where this could be. And these points are on opposite sides of the Earth from one another.
Of course, they've still got a 25 percent chance of randomly choosing the correct spot, right? Actually, make that zero percent. On top of everything else, they have longitude and latitude mixed up (Mount Everest is actually at longitude 86 degrees, 56 minutes, not latitude, and latitude 27 degrees, 59 minutes, not longitude).
"I know we're lost, gang, but I've got plenty of urine-water to keep us alive!"
Fortunately, this is absolutely the only thing about Waterworld that doesn't make any sense.
2Viggo Mortensen's Gangster Movie Tattoo Renders the Plot Moot
In Eastern Promises, Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen) is an undercover cop posing as a tattooed driver and body disposer for the Russian mafia in London. In both the film and reality, a Russian prison tattoo is an elaborate code that tells one's entire criminal history. The film depicts Nikolai's rise from a lowly errand boy to the boss of the mob, which doesn't make a lot of sense, considering ...
What the Tattoos Really Say:
... his tattoos identify him as the boss of the mob right from the beginning, which should probably have gotten him murdered for his gall and ignorance as soon as he took his shirt off with someone else in the room.
"Yeah, you're cute. We'll keep you if you do a little dance for us."
In the creation of Eastern Promises, director David Cronenberg said his team consulted a documentary on Russian prison tattoos called The Mark of Cain. From this documentary, we learn just about everything we need to know to read Nikolai's criminal history. For example, the church cupolas on Nikolai's back signify the number of convictions he has:
"Those GBH incidents are Pope-approved."
And a skull he has is like this guy's, and he says it means he's been convicted of murder:
Russian mob guys have a lot of respect for fat goths.
But what about that giant crucifix on his chest, the centerpiece of the entire ink ensemble? According to the guy in the documentary, it means he is a "Thief-in-the-Law," which in Russian mob slang makes him basically the Godfather of the Russian mafia. That should be news to the panel of mob bosses who employ him as a lowly chauffeur who snips the fingers off of dead bodies. How did they miss that one?
As if that wasn't bad enough, Nikolai has another, even more ill-advised tattoo that can be seen here when they do a close-up on his wrist as he's stabbing the shit out of some guy.
What could be worse than falsely pulling rank on a panel of mob bosses in a closed room? The phrase on his wrist reads "Don't trust, don't fear, don't ask." What's that mean? Not much, except it's the title of a pop song by Russian pop duo t.A.T.u.
There's nothing wrong with showing your love for fake lesbians.