It's no secret that Britney makes me gag but I still give credit where credit's due. I can listen to two songs on "Circus" - "Unusual You" and "Kill The Lights" - without wanting to stab myself in the ear and I can even admit that she usually gives good video. From "Toxic" to "Womanizer", the person who makes Britney's decisions for her has done a great job of picking clever concepts and good directors. Unfortunately, they must have had the day off when Jonas Åkerlund pitched this. It was always going to be hard to come up with an interesting treatment for something as bland and generic as "Hold It Against Me" but surely there were better options. The extent of the clip's pointlessness becomes blindingly clear when you compare it to videos for other recent lead singles. Lady Gaga went down the dark and menacing route for "Bad Romance". Beyoncé kept it clean and simple on "Single Ladies". "All The Lovers" indulged Kylie's whimsical side and balloon fetish. Rihanna sat in a field and did her best to look feminine in "Only Girl (In The World)". All took a different approach but what they have in common is brilliant execution and a dollop of originality. Meanwhile Britney recycles Christina's "Fighter" video, while looking like Loretta Lynn trapped inside the first edition of Mortal Kombat. What the fuck?
I don't even know where to start with this trainwreck. You have a song Max Martin found at the bottom of his reject drawer after inadvertently giving all the good stuff to P!nk and Katy Perry. It's not great but it tackles a universal theme we can all identify with - wanting someone to rub their cock against you on the dancefloor. I'm not judging. We've all been there! So why not put Britney in a sexy dress, throw in some choreography that she can actually do and keep all the bells and whistles for her second single? Instead the clip begins with a meteor racing towards earth. Sure, whatever. Then Britney stands around looking like trash in unflattering cut off jeans, while her male dancers get dressed. Uh huh. But things spiral out of control the moment the former superstar starts spraying herself with Radiance. I'm all for product placement but that is beyond tacky. And unfortunately, it's all downhill from there.
We're treated to the diva ripping off Kylie's giant dress routine from the Fever tour - only instead of making her look pretty, the result is Loretta Lynn meets Madonna circa "Like A Virgin" on acid. And what's with that stupid tower of video screens? It looks cheap and whatever comment they were hoping to make about Britney's legacy completely passed me by. She then logs onto the "Plenty Of Fish" website. Which sounds familiar, probably because Jonas already used that idea in "Telephone". Whoops. At least he's only ripping off himself - unlike Melina. At approximately 1:40 the dancing begins. I've been looking forward to the choreography ever since Brian Friedman started blabbing about taking things to the next level. The end product, however, is more than a little embarrassing. All the difficult moves are done in long shot - quite obviously by Brit's dance double - and the close ups are not pretty. Have I missed something? Is she unwell again? I can't even be bothered writing about the rest of this shambolic mess. In a nutshell, Britney starts spraying paint like a sprinkler and fights herself using some of the most pitiful special effects ever captured on film. It doesn't help that one of her body doubles is clearly a man.
In conclusion, "Hold It Against Me" belongs in the worst video hall of shame next to "Get 'Em Girls" and "Feedback".