Thursday, June 2, 2016

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping - Review

   The Lonely Island has finally made it to Hollywood! The comedy trio is making their film debut with their mocumentary look into the life of a popstar. And while the group’s comedy may not be for everyone, the continued success of their music and their brilliant digital shorts on SNL have shown that they’re here to stay. But the question remains, can they take that success to the film industry?

   Longtime childhood friends, Conner (Andy Samberg), Owen (Jorma Taccone) and Lawrence (Akiva Schaffer) found success with their hip-hop group, Style Boyz. After Owen and Lawrence faded away, front man Conner launched a solo career. Now, the egotistical singer has a documentary crew following him as he prepares to release his second album. When said album flops, the cameras are there to capture Conner’s world come crashing down.

   The story is very much just that, the set-up. Everything takes place along this path of the documentary that allows for set-ups and jokes, making the story really thin. It gives the film some low points where there isn’t a terrible amount happening but those valleys allows for some tremendous peaks.

   The three aforementioned comedians play there parts perfectly fine. The story, and film in general, benefits greatly from them being actual friends, making the chemistry phenomenal. If nothing else, Popstar shows that Andy Samberg truly is a talent when it comes to comedy and Taccone and Schaffer not only have the comedic chops but may have a future in directing as well. A majority of the other roles are largely cameos or glorified cameos, but they still provide humor whatever they may be (particularly Justin Timberlake’s role).

   By far the highlight of the entire film is the music. The Lonely Island has had their fair share of hits throughout the years with gems like “I’m on a Boat” or “Like a Boss” and many more, but this film sees their comedic tunes hit like no other. Within the context of the film, the songs are all laugh out loud hilarious and bring the house down. The songs are so good that I’ve been counting down the days from when I saw the film in May until now for the soundtrack to release. It really can’t be understated how much they had to the film.

   Comedy comes a mile a minute in films these days, trying to throw however many they can in. And while Popstar does contain many, many jokes, it doesn’t quite feel bogged down like most films would. It doesn’t hang on gags for too long or beat them into the ground, but rather knows when to quit on certain aspects.


Overall, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping serves it’s purpose as a satire and comedy perfectly. Making fun at the music industry in general while also getting jabs at particular celebrities as well, the film is funny and refreshing in all the right ways. The story is a bit thin but the comedy and music is so strong that it more than makes up for it. The first venture in the film was successful for The Lonely Island and I look forward to what they do next. (8.0/10)

So what did you of Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping? Have you seen it, and what are some other good mocumentary style comedies out there? Share, comment below, and remember to always return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews and insight.