The Foo Fighters’ new “Walk” video is, rather oddly enough, a near re-creation of the 1993 film “Falling Down,” the oft-disturbing portrait of the prototypical “angry white male” (as portrayed by Michael Douglas, complete with crew cut and short-sleeved work shirt) who is pushed to the brink by what he views as society’s decay — immigrants, crime, greed, bureaucracy, the fact that McDonald’s stops serving breakfast at 10:30 a.m. — and goes on a violent rampage as a result, culminating in a stand-off with police and his death. Only, you know, funny.
Yes, “Walk” — which premiered Thursday (June 2) on MTV.com — is a bit strange: a humorous take on a film that a) most people probably don’t remember, and b) wasn’t all that humorous in the first place. It opens with frontman Dave Grohl (who, besides his long hair, is a dead-ringer for Douglas’ Bill Foster with his horn-rimmed glasses and striped tie) stuck in a traffic jam of suck: a snotty kid stares at him from the back of a station wagon; bumper stickers proudly proclaim “Bieber is my Co-Pilot,” “Thank You, President Bush” and, rather hilariously, “Coldplay”; well-heeled jerks kick back in their cozy convertibles. And, much like Foster, he snaps, leaving his car on the freeway and beginning a trek across Los Angeles, carrying his guitar case with him.
We then follow him as he is pushed closer and closer to the edge, thanks to an ever-extending chain of society’s annoyances: his iPhone dies, a clerk at a convenience store refuses to give him change to make a call and he can’t find a payphone. Of course, unlike “Falling Down,” Grohl’s reactions and his interactions are played up for comedic value. He doesn’t smash up a Korean-owned grocery store, shoot up a fast-foot restaurant or stab a white supremacist. Instead, there is a rather humorous karate fight with some gangbangers (fellow Foos Taylor Hawkins and Chris Shiflett), and he drives a golf cart into a lake.
And, unlike Bill Foster, Grohl’s voyage of carnage doesn’t end with a climatic showdown with police at Venice Fishing Pier, but rather at a Foo Fighters’ practice, where he and the band tear through the remainder of the song before the police come crashing in. Grohl gets tazed. The band poses for pictures with the officers. It is funny — and, unlike their “Rope” video , “Walk” looks like it cost a bit of cash — it’s just, well, odd.
Those not aware of “Falling Down” will probably view this as another in a long line of funny Foos clips. But for those who’ve seen the film (which can be polarizing, to say the very least), it’s sort of impossible not to view “Walk” through the prism of the original. And that’s why it’s a weird thing to watch. Funny? Sure. A slightly odd choice? Most definitely. Then again, the Foo Fighters have long defied conventions, and with “Walk,” they continue down that path — with some silly costumes, of course.
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