Taika Waititi is making headlines this week with the release of his latest directorial effort, Thor: Love and Thunder – and also the admission that he asked Natalie Portman to be in his Star Wars movie because he just kinda forgot that the prequels were a thing. But before he made Marvel movies or even twee Nazi comedies, Waititi directed an … in-flight safety video?

Yup, back in 2014, Waititi lent his talents to Air New Zealand for one of those videos that describes what to do in the event of a horrible fiery crash in the most unnervingly calm voice imaginable – oh, and also how to operate a seatbelt, in case you’ve somehow never been in a moving vehicle until that very moment. Presumably, in order to entertain people before their roughly 700-hour flight, Air New Zealand has produced a number of wildly creative videos, sometimes starring celebrities like Betty White. Oh, and who better to talk you through crucial emergency procedures than Richard Simmons?

Then there was the time the safety video featured nude flight attendants wearing uniforms consisting only of paint, either to be funny or due to significant budget cuts.

Waititi’s contribution, titled “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made,” is themed around Lord of the Rings, AKA the primary reason why anyone visits New Zealand. The video features cameos from Elijah Wood, Peter Jackson, and Waititi himself as Gandalf. Plus, an orc learning how to use an oxygen mask for some reason. We even get sprawling battle scenes, bungee-jumping, and a visit to Hobbiton. Sure, it’s goofy, and perhaps too distracting to properly relay any actual safety information – but it’s still better than the Hobbit trilogy.

Although when it comes to Waititi’s commercial work – or really any of his work – it’s hard to imagine anything topping this 2008 commercial for Pot Noodle; the most extreme video about dehydrated noodle products in media history.

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Thumbnail: Air New Zealand

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