Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Smash Mouth – “All Star”

  Okay, we start out with the stars of that Mystery Men movie from back in the day holding some type of audition for a new superhero. This opening bit may or may not be from the actual movie. (I’ve never actually seen the thing, because it features a certain actor that is just not my favorite. His name rhymes with Gwen Filler, for those keeping score.) Anyway, we have this audition thing, and a string of superhero wannabes are proving that they don’t get out of the house all that much and they are obviously reading the wrong comic books. It’s sad, and there’s clearly not enough alcohol being served.

  Suddenly, lead singer Steve comes trouncing along, picks up the pathetic person auditioning before him, and hurls said loser into a nearby county. The Mystery Men judging team mugs for the camera and nods approvingly, so apparently Steve has been hired, probably based on his shot-putting skills and the ability to pull off the narrowest beard known to mankind. The song proper kicks off, and we cut to Steve feeling very festive and singing the song whilst walking down a long street that is probably the entrance to Ben Stiller’s trailer on the set.

  Steve comes across a couple of youngsters, the girl dressed as a referee and the boy wearing a leather jacket with fringe, indicating that they have been home-schooled. The boy disdainfully gives Steve that “shape of an L on her forehead” hand-signal, as if anybody sporting Village People couture has the right to pull a Helen Keller smack-down on somebody else. Steve doesn’t care and just keeps marching on, because the little urchin doesn’t even have facial hair, let alone facial hair that has been sculpted with minimalism and style.

  Steve suddenly jumps on the roof of a swanky stretch-limo, and proceeds to do some type of jig. (This is what I always want to do when encountering vehicles that are too long to parallel park.) Meanwhile, the rest of the band is performing in the nearby yard of a house, so the neighborhood association hasn’t done due diligence when it comes to zoning laws.

  Steve’s transcendent dancing is interrupted by two screaming women who have been transported in from Jersey, with their hairstyles and questionable clothing choices intact. They seem to be hollering something about their house being on fire, and that their beloved pooch, probably named Tony Soprano, is trapped in an upper room of the Bonfire Abode. (The one girl refuses to let go of her oversize martini, despite the trauma, so we’d probably be best friends in other circumstances.)

  Steve races through the house and the flames, still wearing his sunglasses and not getting the least bit singed by the inferno, and delivers four-legged Tony to the big-haired women. They each have small orgasms of appreciation, but then they quickly get over Steve because he hasn’t killed anybody for mafia reasons yet and any further relationship simply couldn’t work out.

  No matter, Steve wanders out into the street again, where he finds two not-natural redheads posing near and on a souped-up something-mobile. Their movements indicate that they are either doing a dance or need to get sprayed for crabs. This is apparently all the invitation that Steve needs, so he hops in the driver’s seat of the sex-cycle and away they go, with Red and Red II pawing on Steve and straddling everything they can.

  Before Steve and Hormone I and Hormone II get to wherever, we cut to the band playing in an underground parking lot, because all the cool kids are doing that these days, mixed in with snippets of some folks hopping into that stretch-limo that previously served as a dance floor. Oh wait, some other people are piling into a vintage car featuring a blue-and-white theme (don’t ask me for further details, I can only confirm that it has tires, not a car geek), and both vehicles packed with strangers go racing… somewhere. There’s a brief car chase of some kind, with the vintage car featuring William H. Macy looking anguished like he did in Fargo. Does this mean there’s a wood chipper coming up?

  We now have an official montage, involving the band playing in that parking lot, the car chase with the ugly limo and the Mystery Mobile driven by William, and shots of Steve still tooling along in that wide-ass futuristic motorcycle that has enough room for the Red Twins to spread their legs as wide as they need to spread them. (Wait, do their outfits have cherries on them? That’s a lawsuit right there, with false advertising and such.)

  Out of nowhere, we have a big car crash sequence, where the Mystery Mobile slams into an ancient mobile home that some fool has left in the middle of a tunnel on I-95. There are fiery explosions and stuff, but the more interesting result of this mishap is that it triggers a man in an old-school red sweat suit to start doing the robot. Or maybe he’s popping and locking. I can’t get past the glare of his outfit to focus on whatever he might be trying to accomplish.

  Jump to another scene where some of the Smash Mouth people (not Steve) are sitting in the stretch limo (oh, that’s who was in there) and minding their own business, when suddenly the Mystery Mobile pulls up alongside. This doesn’t look good, especially if you haven’t had time to hide the weed under the seat. (Hold up, didn’t the Mystery Mobile explode just a bit ago, when it slammed into the white trash mobile home with parking violations?  I guess it doesn’t matter, we lost our grasp on reality when Steve danced on top of a fancy car and the owner didn’t come after him with a lug wrench.)

  I guess the Mystery Men don’t know how to remain calm and have a polite conversation to discuss issues, because they all jump out of the Mobile and start terrorizing the limo with bowling balls and bad costume decisions. They scream and holler a bit, then they hop back in their hoopty and take off, without proving anything. Steve drives up in his awesome blossom tricycle (hey, why are the Not-Cherry Girls standing on the other side of the limo, like they just sashayed back from a mani-pedi?), and the Smash Mouth folks run to the Blossom Bike and away they go, leaving Cherries and Jubilee to find their own way home.

  Next we have the Blossom Bike rolling up to a school bus on its side in the middle of a street, with what might be a blow-up doll trapped under the side of the heavy vehicle. (There are two cheerleaders standing slightly off to the side, waving their pom poms and cheering on whatever is about to happen. I’m guessing they were home-schooled as well, because the proper reaction would be to assist the injured and not screech lame-ass cheers about athletic victory.)

  But instead of immediately rescuing Blow-Up Girl, we pause for a bit so Steve and the other Mouths can sing and play. (After all, this is a music video, and people in peril can hang on just a bit whilst you market your skills.) Then Steve finally gets around to marching over and lifting the school bus off the ground all by himself. (The Romanian judge immediately signals the Olympic judging committee that steroids are involved and Steve should not win the gold medal. But that happens all the time with bitter representatives from former-Communist countries, so we shouldn’t care.)

  Blow-Up Girl turns out to be more than just something you fill with air and then violate, because she is able to rise from the pavement on her own, wearing a sash that says “Miss All Star” and waving at her fans, without nary a scratch. (Perhaps it was the layer of protective silicon that saved her.) To celebrate the fact that another supermodel has survived unscathed, the remaining cheerleaders who were hiding in the now-upright bus all lean out the windows and lead the crowd in a festive cheer. It’s almost Hallmark-worthy.

  Zip over to the band now performing in some place where they have lots of trophies (for the minimalist beard?) and plenty of room for the band members to leap about like the enchilada plate was quite spicy, indeed. Since the wearisome task of trying to keep an actual plot alive is no longer upon them, they really cut loose. Which means that they get to knock over things and generally behave in a manner that would have normally gotten them a back-handed slap from their mothers.

  As the song ends, the camera pulls back, letting us know that they were apparently performing in the garage of a modest house. (Really? A garage that big simply doesn’t happen unless you sign your checks Donald “Asshat” Trump.) The final shot is of the Mystery Men standing in the driveway and clapping. Well, we only see the backs of these people. They could be anybody. But as long as the Blow-Up Doll survived her wretched, mascara-smearing imprisonment, I think I can sleep peacefully tonight…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

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