Video Review: Justin Timberlake “Take Back The Night”

In New York City, Justin Timberlake parks his convertible outside of a convenience store in Chinatown. He heads inside and says hello the person working behind the counter. He pays for his drink. When he leaves, he starts to dance on the sidewalk.

The screen splits to show him driving and then his concert at Yankee Stadium below.

While casually strolling, he sees two kids. The kids challenge him to a dance off while their dad watches. He slaps the kid five and they walk together. He stops and says hello to a group of people. He puts his arm around one of his friend’s shoulder. They all watch the little kid perform more dance moves.

At the concert, he looks at the camera, his back towards the audience and then turns around, putting his arms above his head.

Walking down stairs, he enters a Chinese restaurant, says hello to the host and greets the diners there. He walks back out another set of stairs, reaching the pavement. By himself again, he does the crazy gesture with hands, letting his eye pop out a little. He sits on the steps

Inside, he enters a club, lit in a hazy blue and harsh, hungover pink, and begins to dance. He smiles at people and gives a friend of his a kiss on the cheek while he hugs another friend. He nods to some people.

At the concert, his visuals behind him show black squares inside several others, building until they are as large as the screen and drenched neon pink. The screen splits into four screens, each corner featuring a different angle of the stadium.

The screen splits again, first at the club and then back in Chinatown, focusing on one of the neon signs hanging in one of the stores.

Returning back the concert, the lights have dimmed to a velvet color. On the street, he beats on his chest and then slides across the pavement.

At the concert, he points to the audience and then steps forward, then back. Behind him, the color has still remained purple but the stage is framed by a white triangle then a smaller white triangle by the band. The horn section plays. He claps his hands above his head.

While at the club, he sits on the floor and claps his hands together as people dance above him. Getting up, he grins wildly. He runs his hands through his hair and then touches his hand to his heart, with a determined face. He waves his hands in front of his face.

On the street, he swings his hips and then does some dance moves on the steps of the restaurant, lifting his leg up his air. The screen splits again, showing a side view of the action: on the left, he drives his convertible while the right side shows the back of his head at the club.

At the hair salon, the ceramic cat’s arm moves. The Statue of Liberty is shown.

Back on stage, he dances in the middle of his background singers and band. At the club, he mimes playing a horn. He does more step moves at the restaurant. While at the club, he wipes his forehead of sweat and then shakes it off with his hands.

He walks back around the street. One of his friends jumps on his back for a piggyback ridge and they all to leave.

Rating: 3/5

Justin Timberlake stops at Chinatown and mainly stays there most of time. He only leaves to for a club (which could be anywhere in the United States), offering a cheap, touristy view of New York City. The Statue of Liberty is obvious, a boilerplate stating exactly where he is.

But other than stopping into a few people on the street, the city is sidelined to showcase his dancing. The concert footage, at first, seems like an interruption. However, it does work the horn section into the video in a logical way and ends up connecting the segments all together. It also provides much more entertainment than him dancing in the same storefront and driving down the same streets.

It’s New York City! Branching out of Chinatown and finding another part of the city to dance in would’ve been great. There is so much to explore that staying in one place dilutes the city, turning it into a pit stop to mark off the map.

Directors: Jeff Nicholas, Jonathan Craven & Darren Craig  Year: 2013

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