Madonna ft. Timbaland and Justin Timberlake

4 minutes dir. Jonas and Francois

You’d think that if all you had was four minutes “to save the world,” you’d spend it more productively than Timbaland does—that is, prancing around in front of a grotesquely enlarged digital clock.

Even so it’s not Timbaland who grabs the viewer’s attention in the video for Madonna’s latest single, “4 Minutes,” but rather the material girl herself. It’s not terribly surprising, though, since she’s writhing around in a skin-tight, skin-colored outfit and black knee-high PVC boots like there’s no tomorrow. Or no more than four minutes. Okay, maybe a lesbian kiss would yield better results, but the queen of pop does a pretty good job without Britney.

The video as a whole, however, is a bit too languid for people who “are out of time and only got four minutes to save the world.”

When I first saw a row of rather flashy cars enter the frame, for example, I thought that some sort of car chase was going to happen. It would fit in with the “only got four minutes” theme that’s going on. What better way to spend them than smashing up Porsches one by one? But no—Justin Timberlake and Madonna jump around on top of the cars. And this after we’ve already seen them strolling through a supermarket and various domestic abodes. Neat? A little, maybe. Fast-paced? Not really.

But what is it, you ask, that’s threatening the posh world of these A-listers? The video doesn’t really make it clear, showing instead this inane triangular pixilation effect that follows the stars wherever they prance. If this is the menace that threatens their future, I can’t say I sympathize with their lyrical sense of urgency.

Another minor grievance with this offering is that it’s way more for the guys than the girls—even without a high-speed car chase. Sorry, chicas—JT keeps his clothes on the whole way through. Damn. Now that would have spiced it up a bit.

—Betsy L. Mead