Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Review

Director(s): Akiva Schaffer & Jorma Taccone 

Starring: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows, Maya Rudolph, Imogen Poots, Chris Redd, Edgar Blackmon, James Buckley.

This review is spoiler free!

The Overview

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. (Source: IMDb)

The Good

Having been creating amazing parodies, and genuinely funny songs as The Lonely Island for the last 15 years, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping certainly had the right creative team behind it to make it a hilarious parody of superstardom and celebrity culture. It absolutely does not disappoint in this regard!

Told in a mockumentary style, this film ruthlessly and relentlessly parodies modern popular music, and takes tremendous joy in lambasting all aspects of celebrity culture. This was something I felt it did really well; the more savvy audience members will appreciate more of the little nods and jokes, but there is still something here for everyone.

Andy Samberg is on fine form as the loveable idiot “Conner4Real”, who breaks away from his group, the “Style Boyz” to start a solo career. His fellow Islanders also appear, and I particularly loved Jorma Taccone as the talented DJ, now relegated to playing songs off an iPod at Conner’s concerts. There is an incredibly talented comedic supporting cast as well, with SNL alumni Tim Meadows, Sarah Silverman and Maya Rudolph being the standouts.

In so may films, the endless stream of cameos only serves to annoy me, but in Popstar, they really work! There’s a healthy mixture of well-known faces playing characters, as well as some playing themselves. Well, playing themselves in very loose terms, they are of course all in on the joke, but it really adds to the authenticity of the mockumentary style having them crop up in talking head interviews.

We’ve come so far into this review and I’m only just mentioning the songs, but really I’m saving the best until last! If you’re a fan of The Lonely Island, then you definitely won’t be disappointed. The songs are nothing short of genius, and it’s a soundtrack I cannot wait to listen to on it’s own. In a film like this, if the songs didn’t work, then nothing would work, but they’re absolutely on point.

The Bad

It certainly has very funny moments, and the beginning in particular is really solid, but I did find the laughs lessened a bit as the film went on. That’s not to say there weren’t still really funny moments, but a film like this really needs to be consistently funny, and for me it wasn’t completely consistent.

I think this stems from the fact that it feels like an overlong skit, which is difficult to avoid I guess when half the cast have appeared on Saturday Night Live!

It does over-rely on one joke, which is admittedly very funny, but I’m not sure whether it will hold up to repeated watches.

The Verdict

I saw this movie and you should too. So if you’re not a fan of The Lonely Island, then this might not be the film for you, but I’d say it is still worth a shot. It is incredibly funny, the cast are great, and it’s worth a watch for the songs alone. The songs would be funny on their own, but I think they absolutely need to be seen in the context of the film before you go and give the soundtrack a listen. One of the funniest films I’ve seen this year so far, so absolutely worth a watch!

Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a terribly misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Please let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to share as well.


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