I'm pretty sure that Fannypack could out-rap the Beastie Boys at this point—but that was never the point, was it? For young white men in the late '80s and '90s, the Beastie Boys were about far more than just their music. They were arbiters of cool who straddled the line between black and punk cultures, a trio who matured with their audience while introducing them to new vocabularies, retro dress codes, and Spike Jonze. Then, for most fans, the inevitable happened—the Boys started making lousy albums, and became more of an embarrassment than a point of reference. It would be easy to stop the narrative there—if only their back catalog didn't rock so damn hard.
Awesome... I Fuckin' Shot That! represents the Beastie Boys' shout-out to the fans of yore. At a sold-out Madison Square Garden show, 50 fans received video cameras and a directive to keep them rolling from beginning to end. This approach (totally swiped from Bon Jovi) ensured that there wouldn't be a single good shot in the movie—but there's also enough decent footage, all spliced together so fast, that one doesn't have time to gripe about the quality.
As for the music? To my great surprise, the B-Boys bring it. The sheer number of great, recognizable hits they have is incredible, from "Hello Brooklyn" to "Sure Shot," "Paul Revere" to "Shake Your Rump." It was with mild embarrassment that, at three points in Awesome, I had goose bumps, as the opening notes to certain songs made me feel like I was getting stoned on the drive to high school all over again.
You'd think that something as frivolous as a Beastie Boys concert film wouldn't bother with messages or morals, but I actually did walk out of the theater with a new outlook on life: Never again will I laugh at my aunt for going to an Eagles reunion concert. Turns out those nostalgia-riddled musical flashbacks just get more fun the older you get.