The Lonely Island has been a popular internet sensation over years since their debut on SNL. It was a matter of time they finally made a movie together. Yes they did make a movie before being 2007’s Hot Rod, but I mean a musical movie since they are a hip-hop group. With Popstar, you have the damn great satire with the touch of Lonely Island all over it. But then again this film was written by the three of them and directed by the two.
When his new album fails to sell records, pop/rap superstar conner4real goes into a major tailspin and watches his celebrity high life begin to collapse. He'll try anything to bounce back, anything except reuniting with his old rap group The Style Boyz.
You know those theatrical biographical music documentaries from Justin Bieber to Katy Perry to One Direction, well Popstar takes the uplifting formula of those films and takes a massive R-rated turd on them. The movie starts off like the average biographical film, but then it turns into the Lonely Island’s take on Justin Bieber’s career. Instead of going the heartwarming goody two shoes route, this comedy goes the absolute opposite by giving us a self centered central character [Connor4Real] whose actions only hurt his career rather than improve them.
If you are familiar to the Lonely Island’s humor and music, then you would love Popstar since most of the film relies on very random lyrics and dialogue that catch you off guard. The movie follows all of the tropes music documentaries follow from the inexplicable celebrity cameos to the montages of people sending good messages to our main singer using social media. But then there are twists on these tropes to where the celebrities are jokingly kissing up to our leads and people are talking shit about Connor4Real for the unintentional actions that he does through social media.
The movie benefits from the music. There are songs that are just very random for they are from Lonely Island and is expected from them, but there are also songs that had some real incredible thoughts put behind them that satirizes other artist’s songs from Justin Bieber to Macklemore and they’re incredibly funny. The film even makes fun of other things including media outlets like TMZ and reality shows publicity. There is a character named Hunter the Hungry who is like Kanye West to the second power.
The movie tries so hard to make fun of the music genre and the form the film is set up in but then it embraces it at the same time and you don't know how to feel about it. Its like making a cake then destroying it only to run back and lick the frosting off the ground. You can't have your cake and eat it too. You either make fun of the genre or be the genre, don't go ahead and try to be both.
Though it is rather funny and benefits from a lot of funny gags, there are some gags that go on way too long. When we get a joke that isn't really working, they don’t only force it to be funnier, but they beat it to the ground. But thankfully the film is extremely short and feels that way. Though there is a lot of celebrity cameos, there are several that are just there for no reason and has no punchline except, HEY LOOK ITS THIS PERSON OR THAT PERSON! And then you question why are they there for like three seconds.
Though several gags overstay their welcome, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a smart comedy that brilliantly satirizes the music biographical genre while still remaining true to being a Lonely Island film.