In 1994, a young music video auteur named Spike Jonze teamed with the Beastie Boys on “Sabotage,” the still-enduring classic of the genre. It’s a pastiche of crime-film chase cliches, with Ad-Rock, MCA, and Mike D donning seventies porn ‘staches and running around L.A. dressed up as cops and criminals, the pursuers and the pursued.
The newest collaboration between Mr. Jonze and the Beasties is the video for “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win,” and it has the trio in similar run-for-your-life panic mode, but with one slight alteration: the guys are pure plastic. They’re stiff, hand-held dolls.
“We went to a warehouse and just messed around for a while,” said Mr. Jonze at the video’s jam-packed premiere, Tuesday night at the Ace Hotel.
He’s being modest — the video is a gleeful romp that won over the attendees, many of whom dressed as if they had sprinted back from a clutch Rockaway Taco trip to get there (Day glo tank tops, skateboards, et cetera. It’s nearly as good as the hyper-kinetic cops and robbers mayhem of “Sabotage.”
The scene begins at a concert, each Beastie doll with a rod stuck out the back to allow for mobility. Santigold, who guests on the track, is there too. Then, suddenly, an anti-Beasties sniper crew is discovered lurking in the shadows, waiting to attck. But when they do the guys roll out in a truck, and then engage in a pursuit that lasts for the remainder of the video. The following things make appearances: sharks, yetis, helicopters, zombies, parachuting, submarines, and a lot of explosions.
“It’s like that fantasy you have as a kid, about action figures,” Adam Yauch, who wrote the video, told The Observer during the after party. “And I’m basically still a twelve year old at heart.”
Look for the video later this month.