May 15, 2011

Beastie Boys, Hells Yeah: Why Music Videos Matter

There are few bands who take such pride in their work (and have such an obvious love for film) as to commission a 30 minute short in the lead up to the release of their new album (in this case, Hot Sauce Committee: Part 2). The Beastie Boys are one such band and oh boy, should they be pleased as pie, or whatever it is MCs eat, with the results. 

Fight for Your Right (Revisited) is not simply an exercise in record company marketing, although we don't doubt this short would have busted first week sales wide open. It's a celebration of fun, hard work, and the enduring beats--yes, we realise we're white, but so are they--of New York's Beastie Boys. 

Written and directed by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch (Ad-Rock), we pick up where the story in Fight for Your Right left off and follow The Beastie Boys of yester-years, Ad-Rock (Elijah Wood), MCA (Danny McBride), and Mike D (Seth Rogen)--out of the party they've clearly just trashed. To that end, we're back in early-80s New York, in the company of brownstones, bodegas, and terriflyingly brick-like police cars. "I think we can all agree we're on the same team here and that's the no pie no sledgehammer team," says the young Mike D to an uptight Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci, who are returning to their apartment and rightly concerned for its continued equilibrium.

The boys rock out onto the street, intent on picking up more beers and perhaps, but less importantly, some breakfast. It must be said that the editing, as well as the story and screenplay, is truly well-refined. The use of rewind and slow-mo takes in just the right places fit in perfectly with what is first up a remixed version of the Beastie's new single, 'Make Some Noise'--a song so catchy, mind you, you'll find it difficult to get out of your head for days.

Having robbed the bodega, accosted a bunch of richies in a cafe for champagne, been hit by a limo (MCA) and then dragged into it (all of them) and drugged by metal chicks (Chloe Sevigny, Kirsten Dunst, and Maya Rudolph), the wayward MCs are at their halfway mark: out on the pavement and tripping on LSD, having just 'seen' a certain anchor man dressed in a traditional Mexican costume, standing on top of the limo, going to town with a stick and cowbell. Awesome. 

Then, all of a sudden, silence, except for the howl of wolves in the back ground and the wind picking up, that is. The street in front of them is deserted, all but three older men materialising from a Delorean (but probably not THE Delorean): The Beastie Boys version 2.0, in the form of Will Ferrell (Ad-Rock), Jack Black (MCA), and John C. Reilly (Mike D). A challenge to a dance contest is layed down, for shiz. "All right guess what? I get what you're layin' down, you future fuckers. And it's on. I'm tripping my balls off right now," says the young MCA. 

The sextet start their epic dance battle to another track from Hot Sauce Committee: Part 2, 'Too Many Rappers', which has to be seen in all of its cracked-out comedic glory to be believed. The last title and statement, 'To be continued, check back in 25 years' serves as a testament to the longevity and development of a band who have always been ahead of their time and yet, simultaneously relevant. And kids, you don't get much more relevant than Seth Rogen and freaking Frodo. 
If Hollywood hasn't already cottoned on to the fact that Adam Yauch should be writing full-length comedy screenplays, well, they hot damn will. Fight for Your Right (Revisited) has parties, girls, crime, nerd references, celebrity cameos up the yin yang, and Jack Black dancing: we for one wouldn't change a single busted beer can. 

****1/2 (shiny, shiny stars)

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