Clad in black, and from what we gather from the promotional art, a skeleton mask, The Weeknd doesn't short-change his fans on entertainment with the grandiose clusterfuck of a music video for "False Alarm." The second video off the upcoming album Starboy shows the Weeknd further embracing his dark side, following the singer and a group of armed robbers as they pull off a violent bank heist and the explosive aftermath of their attempt to escape.
It's fun, and it's loaded with enough bloody action to justify its parental advisory: This isn't for kids, or even the squeamish. But what makes "False Alarm" unique falls on its camera work, as the video is shot from the first-person perspective of one of the robbers, who is later revealed to be The Weeknd. It's unconventional and video game-esque. But "False Alarm" works, in part, because the gimmick — which was tried earlier this year in the widely panned Hardcore Henry — doesn't wear thin across the roughly six minutes of footage.
In short bursts, it's exhilarating. And while the allures of big budget pop may be moving the Weeknd further from his muted, grimy R&B roots, if this is what fans can expect in exchange, the trade may not be all bad.
Essentially, "False Alarm" showcases the exciting elements of Hardcore Henry — an ambitious 2016 action film that was shot entirely from the first-person perspective of its protagonist — but without the film's narrative pitfalls. The critical consensus, and the reason Hardcore Henry's reception was mixed, wasn't just that the concept made for a tiresome feature-length film; some actually found it nauseating.
Both projects were helmed by director Ilya Naishuller, who clearly has a chaotic niche. Given the early Twitter buzz for "False Alarm," it's evident the reception for what's basically a succinct version of Hardcore Henry is a lot warmer.
Of course, not every action-oriented music video need follow this pattern — but it's a welcome change of pace from some less audacious efforts in the space (see: Drake's latest attempt with his uninspiring Please Forgive Me short film).
Plus, who hasn't wanted to see The Weeknd take out a pursuing police car with the help of a drone?
You can check out the "False Alarm" video in full below: