After a week of teasers, hints, and custom emoji, Taylor Swift has finally shown off the video for her latest single, "Bad Blood" at the Billboard Music Awards. The result — a blue-and-chrome colored sci-fi extravaganza featuring supermodels, huge explosions, Oscar-nominated actresses, Tarantino influences, and Kendrick Lamar — was probably worth the wait.
Swift appears as "Catastrophe" — part of a collective of female assassins, each with their own hip nickname and Sin City-style poster. The platinum-selling pop star starts the three-and-a-half minute clip battling goons in an office block before being kicked out of a window by Selena Gomez, in costume as one of her high-kicking colleagues. From her position on top of a ruined car, Swift breaks into "Bad Blood," the fourth single from her most recent album, 1989.
Jessica Alba challenges Swift to a motorcycle race
She continues singing as she's sucked into a Minority Report-esque scientific facility underground that's seemingly operated by Kendrick Lamar. The rapper adds his own bars to the song as the video cuts between shots of stars and supermodels using the secret bunker to practice their violent craft: Lena Dunham is shown with cigar in hand; Jessica Alba challenges Swift to a Tron-a-like motorcycle race, and Paramore's Hayley Williams snarls at the camera, before Cindy Crawford makes an appearance as "Headmistress," the apparent boss of the secret warrior society.
The elaborate video was directed by Joseph Kahn, who also helmed her video for "Blank Space." It's certainly a departure for Swift from her earlier work. Where "Love Story" opted for simple homespun charm, "Bad Blood" goes for rocket launchers, samurai swords, broken arms, and entirely transparent sports cars. Such an extravagant production is to be expected from Swift now though — as one of the few remaining pop megastars, her video releases have become major music events.