REVIEW: ‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’
Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone (collectively known as The Lonely Island) have created some of the best viral video clips of the past decade, but can they hold an audience for more than five minutes? In their first feature film, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, they more than prove they can.
Popstar stars Samberg as Conner4Real, a pop/rapper who originally rose to fame as a member of a rap group called The Style Boyz but has since gone solo to achieve bigger fame. However, success proves to be fleeting as his second album fails to connect with critics and fans alike leading to a downward spiral on par with Justin Bieber, who is clearly the main inspiration behind the Conner4Real character.
Of course, Bieber isn’t the only music act to take a few jokes on the chin. In an attempt to get his failing album to the masses, Conner4Real partners with fictional appliance brand Aquaspin who distributes the album to all of their refrigerators, washer/dryers, blenders and microwaves via “WiFi mumbo-jumbo” and plays the album whenever the appliances are in use. This promotion leads to a hilarious PR disaster that we’re sure is enough to make Apple/U2 squirm…or laugh at while they count their millions of dollars.
Considering the film is done in a documentary style, this lends itself to countless cameos from all across the music spectrum, in addition to the many big comedy names that make up the cast, from Tim Meadows, Maya Rudolph, Sarah Silverman and many more. But make no mistake, the film’s greatest co-star are the hilarious original tunes that have been The Lonely Island’s bread and butter since day one. They will get stuck in your head for days on end, but you won’t mind. This writer’s personal favorite was “Mona Lisa,” a catchy little ditty about the famous Leonard da Vinci painting that calls the subject “an overrated piece of sh*t” and “the original basic bi*ch.” (Take a listen to some of the NSFW songs below!)
Save for a few scenes that were clearly added to pad the run time, Popstar is a brutal roast of the absurdity of the world’s Top 40 darlings that would make a parody genius like Christopher Guest proud. Even Connor4Real would think it’s dope.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping – Trailer and Original Music (NSFW)
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock reporter who never leaves home without her iPod, because to her, there’s something very comforting about carrying around every piece of music she’s ever owned in her life.