So what's the video like? Strangely underwhelming. There's about as many celebrity impersonators, wigs and muscles on display here as you're likely to see on a middling Gay Pride float. Featured in the vid: A snaggle-toothed Amy Winehouse, a flabby Jessica Alba, a tarted-up Sarah Palin. Okay, kudos to these references managing to fall roughly between the years of 2005 and 2009. But by the time he starts reenacting scenes from Star Trek and Rain Man, you see that clearly this is a man who's pulling no punches. Why stop there? Where's the skewering of that uppity Sarah Michelle Gellar? The smarmy Donna Reed? Why not go for broke, Eminem, and invite Red Skelton, Soupy Sales and Dean Martin to the studio to finally tear Sid Caesar a new asshole?
The overall feeling is that you're watching Meet The Spartans with an annoying Dr. Dre beat in the background. Oddly enough, the prevailing theme here seems to be an amped-up predilection for mocking lesbians. His heart-wrenching, bowel-churning duet with Sir Elton John not withstanding, Eminem's obviously no fan of the gays. But it's hard to even be offended when his overly forced lyrical barbs take aim at not one but two famous lesbian couples. "He does not mean to lesbian offend / But Lindsay, please come back to seeing men / Samatha's a 2, you're practically a 10," and then later, "Sorry Portia, but what's Ellen Degeneres have that I don't / Are you telling me tenderness?" It leaves you wondering "Wait -- that's all you got?!" And no, it isn't -- but by the time he's battling bikini-clad minions from "Planet Womyn," you're already in the kitchenette making a sandwich.
All that said, it should be admitted that Eminem looks really good here, and there are plenty of gratuitous shots of his bare, muscled chest on display. In a song and video that's trying to satirize the superficiality of the creeped-out celebrity set, it's bizarre that his torso is the only thing that most people will even remember about the video. All and all, Eminem's projected comeback kicks off with a total clunker.
-- DEREK DE KOFF
Previously > Puppy windows and rainy day songs