At the moment got here the unhappy information that Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell died at 56. Smash Mouth is undoubtedly greatest recognized in the present day for the actual fact their 1999 hit track “All Star” performed on the very starting of the primary “Shrek” film. Like with every thing else associated to “Shrek,” the track has develop into a little bit of a meme.
It is easy to overlook, nonetheless, that earlier than “Shrek” debuted at Cannes and went on to win the very first Academy Award for Greatest Animated Characteristic, “All Star” was a smash hit method earlier than Shrek. It was thought of top-of-the-line songs of 1999 and even acquired nominated for the Greatest Pop Efficiency By A Duo Or Group With Vocal Grammy. Whereas “Shrek” immortalized it, it was really one other movie from 2001 that gave us the very best use of “All Star,” and top-of-the-line endings to a film of the final 20 years.
That is proper, the right ending to the Jerry Zucker ensemble comedy “Rat Race.”
Rat Race” is a movie closely impressed by “It is a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” with an ensemble forged that features Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding Jr., Breckin Meyer, Jon Lovitz, Kathy Najimy, Seth Inexperienced, Amy Good, John Cleese and lots of extra. The movie facilities on an extremely silly recreation the place six groups of individuals race from Las Vegas to New Mexico to discover a storage locker with $2 million in money, all a ruse by an eccentric millionaire who likes to gamble on the dumbest video games together with his millionaire mates. The film, after all, ends with all groups one way or the other converging on one singular spot, crashing a Smash Mouth live performance the place all of them sing “All Star” collectively.
SomeBODY as soon as informed me…
“All Star” is about as a lot a late ’90s track as they arrive, and it matches the over-the-top nature that Zucker brings to “Rat Race.” I am speaking a couple of film the place Jon Lovitz by accident takes his household to a Barbie museum that is really about Nazi officer Klaus “Butcher of Lyon” Barbie earlier than stealing Hitler’s automotive from the museum and driving it right into a World Battle II veterans reunion. This can be a film the place Cuba Gooding Jr. fakes his method into driving a bus filled with Lucille Ball cosplayers (with plenty of screaming) and Mr. Bean performs a narcoleptic man who drops a transplant coronary heart out of an ambulance pushed by Wayne Knight.
There are such a lot of shenanigans within the film that once we see the duffel bag with the cash tied to a sizzling air balloon that crashes onto a Smash Mouth charity live performance, it simply is sensible. It’s a “Rat Race” in any case, and seeing a film with so many celebrities finish with a live performance the place they sing one of many largest songs of the second is simply the right ending. It could not be one other live performance. It could not be one other track from the time. It could not be a Britney live performance the place they sing “…Child One Extra Time,” it wasn’t going to be a Ricky Martin live performance. It needed to be the precise ’90s model of other pop rock music of Smash Mouth that greatest captured the chaotic vitality of “Rat Race.”
The years begin coming they usually do not cease coming
Between 1999 and 2001, “All Star” featured in such cult films as “Thriller Males,” and “Inspector Gadget,” but additionally the delightfully bizarre “Digimon: The Film” (which additionally featured songs by Barenaked Women and Fatboy Slim. No, critically.) all earlier than the double punch of “Rat Race” and “Shrek.”
The rationale why it really works in “Shrek,” the true motive it turned such a meme and made “Shrek” such a phenomenon is the peerlessly timed needle drop firstly of the film. In any case, Steve Harwell’s iconic “someBODY” supply occurs proper as Shrek opens the door of his latrine in his swamp, getting ready audiences for an animated movie not like something they’d seen.
This was not a Disney fairy story, however a crude, irreverent movie full of popular culture references the viewers would acknowledge, and featured songs they’d acknowledge. There’d be no showtunes or Broadway numbers on this fairytale kingdom, however pop punk, and Smash Mouth. Animation modified perpetually after that second, and it’s in no small half on account of “All Star” and Smash Mouth.