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

Written, directed and produced by the real-life musical trio The Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone), Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a 2016 mockumentary comedy film. Connor (Samberg), Lawrence (Schaffer) and Owen (Taccone) are a musical threesome known as The Style Boyz, but when Connor achieves mainstream singles success, the group disbands. The film is a follow up, detailing Connor’s success and the effect it has on the music world.

+ Samberg is surprisingly not the goofy, over-the-top persona you would expect from The Lonely Island videos (though this was a few years after Brooklyn Nine-Nine started, so I guess he learned to tone it down a bit from that). Maya Rudolph and Sarah Silverman have smaller roles, alongside Tim Meadows, and essentially every character is a hyper-realistic take on a person in the music industry
+ there are a huge number of small cameos from famous people, often in the talking heads segments, including 50 Cent, Michael Bolton, Akon and Pharell Williams. Keep an eye out for Emma Stone, Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake, who all float around in the background, too
+ the soundtrack consists of real songs, with real musical guests, such as Pink, Linkin Park and Seal. While all of the songs are catchy, humorous takes on modern pop music, some of the songs are actually pretty good (though all of them are NSFW), such as “Humble” (featuring Adam Levine) and “Finest Girl (Bin Laden Song)“. Deleted song “Fuck Off” is another personal favourite

The fact that the Lonely Island are a real trio adds a strange layer to the movie: it is a realm movie about a fake band, played by a real band using fake characters

> If you want to think of this film another way, it is basically This is Spinal Tap, except 2000s pop, rather than 80s metal.

Should you see this film: Don’t take the lack of negatives above as meaning this is a perfect watch, as there is lots of vulgarity and some surprisingly gross nudity. But if that doesn’t bother you, and you enjoy the comedy style of Samberg and/or The Lonely Island, then you’ll probably enjoy this as much as I did.


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