Coldplay released the music video for its new song "Princess of China," a collaboration with Rihanna, over the weekend. The clip borrows heavily from martial arts movie culture (perhaps too heavily, even), with lead singer Chris Martin paying Rihanna — all dressed up and presumably playing the titular Princess — a visit at her palace. Like every good couple in a martial arts film, they fight, with swords, and perform other outlandish stunts and dances for each other in front of lots of overwrought extras. That's courtship for you — to think nowadays a trip to Red Lobster can serve the same purpose. Click through our slideshow to see all the outfits, as well as our best guesses for the story line.
Whenever a music video comes with its own title sequence, you know it's serious. Or just taking itself seriously.
Presumably, these Chinese characters translate as "starring HBIC Rihanna," or they provide some sort of explanation as to why she's yawning already — the video's only just started, after all.
And these characters must mean "Chris Martin pops up a few times, too, looking simultaneously bored and aggrieved by the whole spectacle." Either that or it's that urban legend about kanji-character tattoos come to life: You think you've got the word badass inked large-scale on your bicep, but the translation is actually something like smells like old fish.
Look at that side-eye — someone clearly thinks Chris is a bit under-dressed for a visit to Rihanna's Forbidden Palace.
Speaking of Rihanna, here she is — in what seem to be skintight latex suspenders, just what we'd all wear for a lazy afternoon on our antique chaise lounge. At least she's fully awake at this point, even if she's implausibly dressed.
Also implausible: nails this long. (Because holding chopsticks is hard enough as it is.) Can't fault her makeup, though — that complexion is flawless.
Fight scene! Obviously it's time to start ripping off the martial arts movie genre. You can tell Chris picked up these moves after watching the fencing match in Madonna's music video for "Die Another Day" on repeat.
And that's why his ninja opponent is clearly giving him "bitch, please" eyes. Because if she wasn't being paid to act like Chris could beat her, she'd be knocking him down and out (with stab wounds) like a well-placed line of dominoes.
For a second, we're thinking there's some Bollywood fusion to come with this, um, odd interpretation of those multi-limbed Hindu deities. And this could be a good thing, because it would make all the scenes copied from Crouching Tiger (and the like) that much less derivative.
But psych, there's just a bunch of backup dancers behind her. Oh RiRi, you tease.
A little bout of cloud ballet, pretty much ripped right out of Crouching Tiger.
And then some sassy silk-sleeve-waving, done to better effect in Hero.
Rihanna wishing she hadn't used up the "I can vomit ribbon" trope in a previous video. It would have certainly jazzed things up.
Cloud ballet round two: this time with sharp weapons.
Our money's on Rihanna, even after Chris took down the ninja lady earlier.
Look at that poise.
Let's be honest, rhythmic gymnasts do this better.
See, Chris is bored. (Of course, we predicted that back in slide three.)
And with that said, it's time to wrap things up — by kneeling together in the desert, foreheads touching like there's telepathy going on. Well, sure, why not? This at least means they resolved whatever it was that got them all riled up and fighting in the sky.
And look — once you get past the fact that, literally and likely metaphorically, Chris Martin's head is so much bigger than Rihanna's — they're gettting up close and personal. (Nose nuzzling to come.)
In fact, they're TOTALLY going to make out. (They don't.) We'll have Gwyneth's take on this in the next issue of GOOP, surely. Think: a column on what calming herbal teas to drink after your husband gets his kissy-kissy face on with another woman in his music videos.
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