Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Time Out says
The Lonely Island skit troupe (SNL’s “Dick in a Box”) heads to feature length with Andy Samberg playing a rapper on the decline.
The laughs keep coming even when the music numbers and plot fall short in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. The second feature film from YouTube legends the Lonely Island (collaborators and high school buddies Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer), it’s a solid music mockumentary but no This Is Spinal Tap.
The story centers around Conner4Real (Samberg), the titular pop star, a singer and rapper who earned his fame as part of a boy group, the Style Boyz (Taccone and Schaffer), before going solo. After a massive debut album, though, Conner4Real’s follow-up is a dud, and his fans—including music powerhouses like cameoing Usher and A$AP Rocky—just want Conner to bring back the original band. (An echo of Samberg leaving behind Lonely Island’s viral work for the wider world of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is felt, if not touched upon completely.)
For the most part, the story serves as backdrop for a series of silly songs and pseudo-clever appearances from comedians and musicians (a surprisingly game Mariah Carey has a self-mocking line early that particularly sets the tone). The tunes are fun, but it’s hard to believe any of them will become as big as the Lonely Island’s breakout hit, “Dick in a Box.” Still, in a movie that deals almost exclusively in pals playing pop music and exposed penises, the boyish humor goes a long way. Call it a hit single, but don’t expect it to go platinum.
Cast and crew