Remember Rihanna‘s whirlwind 777 tour from a few months ago? No? Our own Robbie Daw certainly does, despite his attempts to erase it from his memory. And he was forced to relive the entire exodus/nightmare last night (May 6) when the Rihanna 777 documentary aired on Fox. The film (which, surprisingly, was not directed and edited by Rih), follows the Bajan superstar as she embarks on a seven-country, seven-show tour in just seven days.
As impossible and unnecessary as the journey may seem, there’s now a probably unnecessary behind-the-scenes look at how the whole thing went down. So, was the video chronicle the same sort of bizarre hellscape that the #RihannaPlane turned out to be? Here’s what some of the invited journalists and critics had to say about the doc.
:: The Hollywood Reporter had 777 journalist Emily Zemler give her take: “Instead of revealing the entertaining tumult that characterized the 777 Tour, the documentary crew has chastened the experience in the editing room, glossing over the rioting incident and the long hours spent waiting around for Rihanna to finish lingerie shopping in Paris.”
:: Contact Music felt little connection to the star: ”Rihanna fans are going to lap this up, but anyone looking to learn more about the star might want to steer clear, as the general consensus is that it’s a pile of contrived PR.”
:: SPIN offers a gloomy outlook: ”The beginning of Rihanna 777, the RihannaPlane documentary that aired on Fox last night, is somewhat like the start of a movie like Turistas. Shots outside the aircraft’s windows into the clouds indicate hope and excitement, and the passengers — eagerly tearing open their gift bags — are shouting and giggling and ribbing one another. But you know that by the end, everyone involved will be slaughtered and vivisected in a bloody pile.”
:: Huffington Post highlights the singer’s performances: “This isn’t Madonna’s ‘Truth or Dare’ (or even Katy Perry’s ‘Part of Me’); it’s a Rihanna look-book, somehow made less interesting than the singer’s Instagram feed. The performances shown feature her live voice, which has never been Rihanna’s selling point.”
:: USA Today felt disconnected: ”While fans might find her interactions with band and crewmembers backstage interesting, those encounters aren’t particularly revealing. And by the time the trip winds up in New York, everyone involved is elated that it’s over. Even so, the film doesn’t come close to reflecting the tedium described by journalists in their dispatches from the trip.”
:: LA Times tends to agree: “This film doesn’t illuminate much about one of contemporary pop’s most successful artists, or even about the famously fraught tour itself. Instead, ’777′ is a lightweight Rihanna hagiography, with none of the live-wire tension or creative demons that D.A. Pennebaker or Martin Scorsese brought to their own classic music docs ‘Don’t Look Back’ and ‘The Last Waltz.’”