Watch Beastie Boys Story
Beastie Boys Story is a 2020 documentary film directed by Spike Jonze, focusing on the history and career of the iconic rap/hip-hop group Beastie Boys. The film features surviving members Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz as they reminisce about their early days as a punk band in the early 80s, their transformation into rap legends in the late 80s and early 90s, and their legacy as one of the most influential and beloved groups of all time.
The film is structured as a live theatrical show, with Mike D and Ad-Rock on stage telling their story, interspersed with archival footage and photos, and occasional appearances from special guests. The show was originally intended to be a multi-city tour, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was adapted into a filmed version for streaming on Apple TV+.
The film begins with Mike D and Ad-Rock setting the stage and acknowledging the absence of their third member, Adam "MCA" Yauch, who passed away from cancer in 2012. They explain that the show will be a "live documentary," combining storytelling, humor, and music to take the audience on a journey through their history.
From there, the film delves into the Beastie Boys' early days as a punk band in New York City, playing clubs like CBGB and Max's Kansas City. They describe their teenage years and early twenties, when they were known as the "Beastie Boys Crew" and were heavily influenced by the emerging rap scene in the city. They talk about the making of their first album, Licensed to Ill, which became a huge commercial success but was also met with controversy and accusations of sexism and racism.
The film then moves on to the Beastie Boys' evolution as musicians and human beings, starting with their second album, Paul's Boutique. They describe the creative process that went into that album, which was a departure from their party anthem sound and featured a much more experimental and sample-heavy approach. They also discuss their shift away from the more toxic elements of their early persona, and their growing awareness of social issues.
The latter half of the film focuses on the Beastie Boys' legacy and the impact they had on the music industry and on culture in general. Mike D and Ad-Rock share stories about some of their most memorable experiences, such as performing at the Tibetan Freedom Concert and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They also reflect on their relationship with MCA, including his illness and passing.
Throughout the film, Mike D and Ad-Rock display a genuine affection and admiration for one another, as well as a deep gratitude for the opportunity they had to create music together for so many years. They also maintain an irreverent sense of humor and a willingness to poke fun at themselves, even as they tackle serious subjects.
Overall, Beastie Boys Story is a fascinating and entertaining retrospective on one of the most important and groundbreaking groups in music history. It offers a glimpse into the personalities and artistry of Mike D, Ad-Rock, and MCA, as well as a broader look at the cultural and social movements that influenced them and that they influenced in turn. Fans of the Beastie Boys will find plenty to enjoy and appreciate, while newcomers will gain a newfound respect for this iconic trio.
Beastie Boys Story is a 2020 documentary. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7 and a MetaScore of 74.