Thursday, September 8, 2016

Movie Review: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

Popstar Never Stop Never Stopping movie poster
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016) - Directed by Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone; Written by Andy Samberg, Schaffer, Taccone; Starring Samberg, Schaffer, Taccone, Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows, Maya Rudolph, Imogen Poots, Justin Timberlake, Joan Cusack.

By Kenny Howell

The Lonely Island crew take on the rock mockumentaries in this very funny send up of popular music.

Andy Samberg (The To Do List) plays Conner4Real, a popstar that used to be a part of a band called the Style Boyz. Conner was the big star of the trio, which caused strife between the band, leading them to break up and Conner to go solo.

Well, sort of. The agreeable part of the trio, Owen (Jorma Taccone) became Conner's DJ, which really just includes turning on the iPod that holds all his music.

When we meet Conner, his second album is about to drop. It's a highly anticipated follow up to his monster hit first record, but when people finally get a listen, they crap all over it. Conner, who hasn't really had to face adversity because of always being around yes men, doesn't handle it well. The tour he goes on to promote the album spirals into disaster and brings up the past break up with his buddies the Style Boyz.

The Lonely Island crew of Samberg, Taccone and Akiva Schaffer are obviously very funny dudes, so it's no surprise how hilarious this is. But they did their homework on rockumentaries as well, picking on things from Justin Bieber's documentary, as well as many others. Conner does show comparisons to Bieber, but many others as well, so it helps keep the parody open, and allows more freedom for The Lonely Island guys to work.

The songs are obviously very funny, and I think it is going to be great when one gets nominated for an Oscar later this year. It will probably be "I'm So Humble", Conner's solo track on how he never brags about how humble he is, mostly because it has the least amount of profanity. And it actually is the best. The problem is that Conner's second album stuff is supposed to be terrible, and it's not that much worse than "Karate Guy", which was a big hit for the Style Boyz, and Nas says in a talking head that it changed his life. If the Style Boyz stuff would have been a little better, it would make it a little more understandable that everyone thought they were so amazing.

Still, despite that fault, the film is really funny, and that is all that really matters. This is the first real The Lonely Island movie (Hot Rod was a collaboration), and hopefully there is a lot more.

Rating: ***

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