Genre: Comedy, Music
Starring: Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows, Ashley Moore, Bill Hader, Imogen Poots, James Buckley, Justin Timberlake.
Year Of Release: 2016
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Runtime: 86 Minutes
Director: Akiva Schaffer & Jorma Taccone
Synopsis: “When it becomes clear that his solo album is a failure, a former boy band member does everything in his power to maintain his celebrity status.” IMDB
The moment I read that The Lonely Islands were working on another film together I could barely contain my excitement, I consider their first film “Hot Rod” one of the most underrated comedies films of the past decade. Their collective work during their time on Saturday Night Live was some of the best stuff, standout for me “Dick In A Box” with Justin Timberlake.
“Popstar” is very much a satirical take on the documentaries some artists have put out in recent years, most noticeable it takes down the recent Justin Beiber documentary. The parody approach in comedy is one that doesn’t really appeal to the masses in the current market. The few proper parody films we have received in recent years have been “This Is The End” and “The World’s End” both 3 years ago now, so now that we have another to put on the list is a good thing. The story of “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” is pretty simple at its core, the film follows the meteoric climb to fame of “Conner4Real” yes that is his name ha, plus his eventual downfall after his hype dies, Conner tries everything to keep the limelight firmly on him, before resorting to what made him famous originally The Style Boyz.
Due to Samberg, Schaffer and Taccone “being in the business” for such a long time, they have made a lot of funny friends a couple of them being Tim Meadows, Sarah Silverman, Bill Hader and James Buckley who in my opinion are some of the funniest people on TV in recent years. All these actors deliver their lines to perfection, if you’re less familiar with James Buckley, check out the British sitcom “The Inbetweeners” he showcases some of the best British comedy in years. The entire cast help deliver laughs from the get go, be it the real actors, of the musicians playing fictionalised versions of themselves in some cases, onto the men of the hour “The Lonely Islands” the film has heavier involvement from Samberg and Taccone, but the scenes when Schaffer pops up are the ones that stick out, specifically a scene with Samberg and Taccone’s characters attempting to rekindle their friendship in a limo being mobbed by fans. With one over zealous fan whipping out his “member” shall we say and rubbed it on the limo window. The man playing said fan, is none other than famed writer/director Judd Apatow. Samberg excels at playing the overly cocky popstar without a are in the world or a fear of looking silly, just a walking talking ego that the world bows down to, his entourage doesn’t help treating him like a king who does no wrong.
Not only does the film deliver on the comedic side, it also has some catchy songs that wouldn’t be out of place in today’s music charts, that is until you listen closely and hear the rude and vulgar lyrics at times hidden behind great beats. Personal favourite of mine would be “Equal Rights” in which Conner tries to showcase of forward thinking he is, resulting in some very funny misunderstandings on his behalf. Majority of the songs throughout come with real guest stars which really adds to the comedy, it harkens back to seeing Justin Timberlake in “Dick In A Box” smart choices across the board by the Lonely Island crew.
Overall, I completely loved this film it left me with an aching face and headache from laughing so hard and long Samberg, Schaffer and Taccone have one the best dynamics across Hollywood in my opinion due to them being friends and doing comedy together since the mid 1990s. Their ability to make even the most average joke into a belly busting laugh is why their work continues to make social media explode when they announce anything. So if you’re looking for a simple watch at just shy of 90 minutes, “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” is the film for you, hands down the funniest comedy film of the year that doesn’t try to be something it’s not. If you’re a fan of any of The Lonely Islands crew or the comedic styling of SNL this is definitely up your street, it’s a simple short watch that will give you a fair amount of giggles.