So, the music video for Britney Spears’ new single “Criminal,” the fourth single from “Femme Fatale,” premiered this week. It features some acting, some kissing, some shooting, and some more kissing.

First things first, at the 2011 MTV VMAs, Spears revealed “Criminal” was going to be the next single from the album. She claimed to have a “really cool” idea for the video. Fans were left wondering what she would cook up this time. It seems as though the story of Spears’ image is told through her videos. From the paparazzi-bashing (“Piece of Me,” “Overprotected,” “I Wanna Go”) to the steamy dancing (“I’m A Slave 4 U,” “Me Against the Music (featuring Madonna),” “Circus”) to the nudity (“Toxic,” “Womanizer”). These images are all part of the Britney Spears legend.

So, what would we get next? For starters, Chris Marrs Piliero directed the video. This is the second video in a row that he’s directed for Britney. The video begins with Spears showing off her acting skills. She plays a young woman who is in an abusive relationship and has had enough. The problem with this scene, is it does a great disservice to Spears’ actual acting ability. We’ve all seen Britney on television. From “Saturday Night Live” to “Will and Grace” to “How I Met Your Mother,” Britney Spears has proven herself to be a good actress. She shows talent particularly in the area of comedic roles. The opening shot of her “I Wanna Go” video, for example, was superbly acted and well-done.

This particular scene, though, doesn’t quite do Spears’ talent any good. The scene involves her boyfriend grabbing her face and yelling at her in front of the entire party. She is upset, runs to the bathroom, and wipes tears away from her eyes. The problem here, is that as she’s rubbing the tears away from her eyes, she’s smiling. If you ask me, that’s not very convincing. Her body language appears to be very stiff as well. Spears can clearly act, she just didn’t hit a home run with this role. But, hey, it happens to everybody.

As Spears and her boyfriend get into an altercation that turns physical, the “criminal” (played by Spears’ real-life boyfriend, Jason Trawick) comes to her rescue. As she rides with him on his motorcycle, he brings her back to his home. They kiss and share a great deal of revealing and passionate scenes together. Here’s where the next problem comes in. If anybody was paying attention to the dramatic tabloid frenzy that invaded Spears’ life, one can’t deny that she’s needed to take attention away from her personal life.

The moment that, in my opinion, raised the level of scrutiny on Spears was when she came out with the reality show, “Britney and Kevin: Chaotic.” Spears appeared to be well-intended and thought the show would actually defuse the attention, because it would show people there’s nothing that interesting going on anyway. Instead, it resulted in the opposite effect. It kicked the door wide open for all types of media to a sense of entitlement over Britney’s personal business. This is why having her current boyfriend in her music video might not be such a good idea. Sure, it’s not airing her home movies on television, but it’s still playing with fire, if you ask me.

That said, Trawick does do a good job in the video and the two have a chemistry together that appeared to be lacking in some of her other videos. The steamy scenes between the two felt more comfortable, because the two are involved privately as well. As opposed to the male leads in “Womanizer” and “Radar,” Spears seems to be more comfortable than in her other recent videos. It looks like the couple’s personal relationship also had a positive effect on the video.

So, what do you guys think of Britney’s new video?

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