The short film/music video hybrid monster created by John Landis with Michael Jackson’s Thriller, is back. Many thought (and hoped) it had died with Guns N’ Roses’ cock rock monument November Rain, and despite a couple of unremarkable recoveries along the way, it really looked like it had until Lady Gaga (who seems to be making songs purely as a pretext to dress up as a lesbian vampire or whatever three-headed transgender creature her pool of “creative” partners come up with) revived it.
Since the mass media has decided Gaga is the best thing since sliced bread, the trend has caught up and now any self-involved artist with a big enough marketing budget has their own MASSIVE MUSIC VIDEO to announce their synergy with the zeitgeist, man. For example, after a series of convincing high-concept videos (Flashing Lights and We Were Once A Fairytale with Spike Jonze), Kanye West triple-jumped the shark with the 35 minute long Runaway, aka Yeezy-in-Wonderland, which was ignored by most but strangely endearing in its own eg-autistic, Kanye-esque way. Even a respectable indie band like TV on The Radio released one to accompany their recent Nine Types of Light, although that was a more DIY affair than the previously mentioned big-budget extravaganzas.
Today’s exhibit is Fight For Your Right Revisited, by Beastie Boys’ Adam “MCA” Yauch, which premiered simultaneously on all MTV’s satellite channels last Thursday at midnight - except the “real” MTV of course, which was probably showing a profitable re-re-re-run of the best hot tub moments in Jersey Shore.
The 30 minute film is a sequel to the iconic promo of (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) from their Licence To Ill heyday, picking up where the original left off: after the party. Elijah Wood dons Ad-Rock’s Stuyvesant Physical Education T-shirt, Danny McBride takes MCA’s leather jacket and Seth Rogen wears Mike D’s gold chains.
So what happens next? Not a great deal actually: in the staircase, the guys get into a boringly would-be surrealistic argument with the owners of the flat (Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci), and then smash the window of the local store to steal some beer cans to be sprayed on random members of the public played by countless famous people in need of cool points. They rap a little, pull faces, create havoc and spray some more beer, all of this in slow motion, TWICE.
They hang out with some metal chicks in a limo (Chloe Sevigny looks so much like some dude from Motley Crue, it’s scary) then come face to face with their old selves from the future (Will Ferrell, John C Reilly and Jack Black) who have kindly brought along a dance mat (tied to the roof of their DeLorean, no less) in order to have a breakdance face-off, which ends in a collective golden shower.
Sound hilarious to you? Didn’t think so. The whole thing is a rather pointless attempt from a sizeable bunch of Hollywoodian “slebs” to go for the big LOLZ (cameo rate: 15 per second); poking fun at hiphop culture and the 80s with everybody’s favourite white rappers. It’s a bit weird to have an homage to B-boys’ golden age that’s so vanilla, without a single black actor in sight… but I won’t get sucked into that. It’s the Beasties after all. That’s a minor grievance.
The main issue here is that Fight For Your Right Revisited, though competently put together, stinks of lame improvisation (check the awfully flat dialogue) and badly lacks rhythm. And it has absolutely no narrative spine. And it’s 30 MINUTES LONG goddammit. And, Jack Black’s in it. To any sane individual, this fact should ring like a strident shitness alert.
In a nutshell, if you enjoy spotting furtive appearances of middle-aged stars playing dress-up in safely self-deprecating parodies straight-out of Jimmy Kimmel shows (I’m Fucking Ben Affleck etc. YAWN) or Saturday Night Live, you’ll have a good time watching this (being a Beastie Boys die-hard geek helps too), although this stuff is usually about 5 minutes long, MAX. At least it looks like they had fun on the day, good for them, I’m not trying to be one of the “h8taz”.
Check back in 25 years they say in the credits. Hmmm…. no thanks.