05/25/2011 11:44 am ET | Updated Jul 25, 2011

A Pawlenty-Bruckheimer Production: When Campaign Videos Go Way, Way Over the Top

Last week, I eviscerated Newt Gingrich's pitiful attempt at utilizing web video as a launchpad for his presidential campaign. His debut video was lifeless, vapid and hopelessly dated.

This week, I turn to Tim Pawlenty, who has taken center stage amid the thinning ranks of Republicans with open bids for the White House in 2012.

On Sunday, the day before his long-hyped official declaration as a 2012 candidate, Pawlenty's campaign released its latest video, "A Time for Truth." Clocking in at a reasonable 2 minutes, 15 seconds, this web-only video could not be more different than Gingrich's -- or even Mitt Romney's -- announcement video.

For a full critique of Pawlenty's video, tune in below:

Verdict: All the fast cutaways, lens flares, and artsy angles can't hide the fact that this video still feels utterly artificial. Big bucks were no doubt spent on high-end DSLR equipment and talented, hipster editors to make 2012's most uninteresting candidate seem like a protagonist in a Spielberg epic.

Believe it or not, this video is actually a few tones calmer than his previous campaign videos, some of which could easily pass as lost trailers for Independence Day.

As the 2012 race warms up, it will be interesting to see if the other Republican candidates borrow from Pawlenty's playbook and up the ante on their own videos. So far, no candidate -- T-paw included -- has found a comfortable balance between production quality, authenticity, and innovation in the video space. But the campaign is still young.