Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping SPOILER-FREE Review
For a while, I had zero interest in seeing Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. I thought the trailers weren't very funny, and I thought it would end up being a bomb. However, it ended up with modest critical ratings, and reviewers I trust mostly liked it. So when I found myself with nothing to, I thought I would give Popstar a shot. I really like Andy Samberg. I saw part of season one of his show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and he was hilarious as a delusional, self-absorbed idiot. And in Popstar, he plays very much a similar kind of character. So I went in to the movie not expecting much from it, and I walked out surprised. While Popstar doesn't necessarily deliver on gut-busting laughs, it is a fun and enjoyable movie to watch about a narcissistic moron.
After breaking up with the world-famous band Style Boyz, Conner (Samberg) gets into the solo business as Conner4Real. But after the tremendous success of his first album, Conner isn't prepared for the hard-hitting low when his second album isn't exactly up to par.
This movie is filmed as a mockumentary, and it works really well for the movie. Mockumentaries have stormed TV, with hit series such as The Office or Parks and Recreation. But it hasn't translated into movies as much. Popstar is a good example of the comedic potential mockumentaries have for film. While it loses its mockumentary feel in the middle of the film, the beginning uses this style for added gags, and to sneak in some great celebrity cameos. There are so many cameos in this film, and none of them really feel forced. They all flow, and you begin to cheer them on as more and more pop up. It's almost as if the Lonely Island called in every favor they had to make this movie. The performances are also surprisingly good in this film. Samberg is great at playing the narcissistic moron, which he plays often. But he's great as the film's lead. Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone are also great as Lawrence and Owen, especially since they are doing double duty as the directors as well. But Chris Redd steals it as Hunter, the opening act for Conner4Real, and is really fantastic in this film.
Like I said earlier, this film doesn't have any gut-busting laughs, which did bother me a bit. There was nothing that stands out as the quotable joke or the memorable gag. All I did was chuckle throughout the film, but I did it enough that I was content. I was more just enjoying this world that I was watching. I found that to be more fun than the jokes. I liked seeing Conner's interactions with other people, the style of the mockumentary, the fake press reports. I enjoyed watching that. So it made up for the fact that the jokes weren't laugh-out-loud funny. I do have to say that the songs were well-written and they were very much in the vein of the Lonely Island's own songs. They added a lot of that same kind of humor into these songs, and it made the parody come to life a lot more.
This film does begin to lose steam a bit in the middle. It has a strong momentum and then it kind of drifts for a while. I still enjoyed what I was watching, but it took a little bit for the movie to get back on course. For a movie that's 90 minutes, that's not a very good thing. But like I said, I still enjoyed what I was watching. I also thought the character arc for Conner was a bit abrupt. For a majority of the movie, he is a certain way and then changes too quickly. It took me out of the movie. I knew it was going to happen, and should have happened, but it could have been more organic so that it wasn't such a drastic change. And the ending was a little bit too convenient. It just tied everything up into a perfect bow, and I wish it could have been done a little bit differently.
Overall, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a fun, satirical, SNL type sketch turned into a feature length film. The talent of the Lonely Island shine in bringing this film to life, as it does a really good job at making fun of the music industry. They employ a mockumentary style, which is really used well in telling this story. Everyone gives good performances all around, and deliver on good comedy. While the jokes aren't laugh-out-loud funny, they are funny enough to be enjoyable. The film drifts a bit in the middle, and takes some time to get back on track. Conner's character arc is also a bit rushed. But in the end, I enjoyed watching Popstar and just enjoyed being apart of this world and watching these character do what they do.
What do you think? Have you seen Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping? Did you like the film? Leave your (spoiler-free) thoughts in the comments section below.
Written by: NateEmail us your movie questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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