Review: Never Stop Never Stopping with ‘Popstar’

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If I start to say: “I’m on a boat…..I’m on a boat….” would you be able to finish it? Or filling in this blank ” _____ in a box,” a now famous holiday jam. Whenever you see a hot dog cart or a birthday cake, do you have to restrain yourself from flinging things to the ground? Then, good buddy, we have the same Lonely Island humor.

The Lonely Island is a trio of three friends–Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone–that started creating parody music for SNL sketches. These sketches became so popular that the trio has become their own group and have achieved cult status. So when news of an upcoming Lonely Island movie was heard, you can bet there was much glee and excitement. Surprisingly, there has been very minimal marketing and not much was known about it. The Lonely Island is popular enough to bring the crowds in but will their movie keep their fans happy?

What can one expect from a Lonely Island movie? Most likely a lot of silly jokes, catchy non-PC music, cameos, and silliness. At it’s baseline, this is pretty much what Popstar delivers; nothing more or nothing less.  No new cinematic ground was broken, any advanced level of comedy reached, or any perspectives changed. It was a movie that was utterly silly, verging quite a bit on being immature, but still enjoyable. It does offer a break from the superhero, sappy, and epic movies out there. It is opening right alongside of Me Before You, so this will make some interesting first date choices.  In fact, unless you know for a fact that your date is a fan of Lonely Island, don’t consider this a first date movie.

Popstar  is a pop mockumentary,  like a Millennial version of  Spinal tap. I really hesitate to write this because I rate Spinal Tap so high. If you enjoy Documentary Now! then this movie may be up your alley too. The mockumentary follows a typical journey of a rise and fall of a pop star; in this case, it’s Conner4real (Andy Samberg). After shedding his childhood friends for a solo career, Conner4real is a legit celebrity; until his second record. Then the extent of his talent really shows.  It then becomes an random mishmash of comedy as Conner4real comes to grips with who he has become and what he has to do. Plus, he has a cool tortoise buddy named Max.

After being a granted a chance to preview this movie before opening day, I have to predict that this will split fans reactions.  People will either pee in their pants laughing or just be mildly disappointed. I am right smack dab in the middle of that range.  There were some very hilarious moment in the film but no everlasting gem of a joke. It might be possible that I set my expectations for the film too high. Instead of gut wrenching humor, I just laughed. I was also disappointed that there were weren’t as  many high production music numbers. The track listing for the album boasts a heavy load of A-listers but you only get to see a small fraction of that. Although the end song does make up for it. It would probably help if you watched this video to get the gist of why it was awesome. Actually just watch the video anyway, it’s hilarious.

Overall, it’s a fun movie. It’s a bunch of friends who are able to bring their silly humor to the big screen with an ultra big budget. Every single person in this movie seemed to have genuinely enjoyed themselves. So although it doesn’t break new comedic ground, it does win big points for being a genuine movie of friendship.  And some really, really silly music. Take your friends and have fun.

(Not your children though. The humor is immature but it’s not meant for children.)

To get a taste of what you will see, check out the video.  This is definitely NSFW.

 

 

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