Jared Leto never goes halfway. That’s why the epic video for [artist id="1231235"]30 Seconds to Mars’[/artist] new single “Hurricane” sometimes feels like a summer blockbuster squished down into a 13-minute box. Part “Eyes Wide Shut” fetish flick, part action movie and all a bit confusing, the video that director Bartholomew Cubbins (a.k.a. Leto) has been promising will be “very sexual,” violent and a “surrealistic nightmare dream-fantasy” is all those things and more. Plus a lot of things we can’t even really get into here.
Premiering on MTV.com on Monday (November 29), the mini-movie is broken into chapters, beginning with movie-style titles announcing “Hurricane,” then the subtitles “this is not reality” and “this is a dream.” As Chapter 1, “Birth,” unfolds, ominous lighting flashes over New York City at night as drummer Shannon Leto speeds through its streets on a motorcycle.
A shirtless Jared Leto is awakened in his apartment by a knock on the door only to find nobody there and a stack of Polaroid surveillance photos of him lying in bed (shirtless, of course). A creepy gimp wearing a black suit and leather mask and toting a sledgehammer bursts into the room, sending Leto flying out of a 40-story window to the street below.
The gimp is right behind him and danger lurks all around as guitarist Tomo Milicevic encounters a woman in black leather bunny fetish gear being led around a subway station by another leather-masked baddie. Milicevic dispatches the dude with a gut punch and makes out with the fetish queen, yanking a key on a red rope out of his mouth after their hookup.
Chapter 2, “Life,” begins with Shannon crashing his bike to avoid running over a woman lying prone in the street, even as his brother dresses up a lingerie-wearing beauty in a leather eye-mask and horse’s bit. The beautiful stranger stabs Shannon in the gut unexpectedly, yet he’s fine enough to toss the key in slow motion into the street.
And then, believe it or not, that’s when things get really weird. A rabbi, a priest and an imam show up and toss their respective holy books into a bonfire in an alley (also in slow motion, natch), and Leto jogs by a building where he finds the key hanging out of a door.
Cue quick-cut scenes of a silver knife, a cockroach, a woman spitting into another woman’s mouth, a buxom beauty in a steampunk gas mask, some back licking, booty smacking and handcuff play, not to mention yet another black-barred image with the words “Censored Sisyphus Corporation” over them, and you have the perfect setup for Leto walking through rows of caskets draped in the American flag as the sledgehammer dude clocks him in the face.
Leto falls into his own coffin and is nailed in it before the camera cuts to a pair of topless women in fishnet stockings guarding a door and striking provocative poses as an unseen hand takes the lid off a plate containing, yes, a silver vibrator. Ominous music begins to play while a procession of death-mask-wearing marchers bearing torches make their way through Central Park, where Shannon meets up with his assailant, kisses her and is promptly shackled to a park bench. Dude, how could you fall for that again?
Surrounded by guys in creepy bunny and bird masks, he uses the key to unshackle himself and beat them up, while brother Jared is freaking out inside the casket and uses his red key to set himself free. He drops down into the street amid a stream of other unmentionable fetish clips while Tomo uses his red key to unlock a book with a secret message in it that we never get to see.
Which brings us to Chapter 3, “Death,” opening with children scrawling in an alley with sidewalk chalk and Jared realizing his torso is covered with cryptic tattoos. He doesn’t seem to mind, as he’s busy hooking up with a beauty in lingerie.
Censored scene, more fetish play, Shannon making out with his girl again, Jared taking the masked gimp to the cleaners in a slo-mo fistfight, a strobe-light recap of the whole thing, and somehow 13 minutes have passed by in a daze.
When he teased the clip at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Madrid earlier this month, Leto said the point was to weave three separate narratives together — the members of 30STM each battling their personal demons and unlocking secret fantasies — in between all that sex and blood and book-burning. But, alas, given how busy 30STM and Kanye West both are at the moment, the Yeezy cameo didn’t come together for this cut of the film.
Maybe next time.
What do you think of the “Hurricane” video? Share your reviews in the comments!