Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is the third(ish) movie from The Lonely Island guys and is definitive proof that they can make hilarious, quotable movies that will do absolutely nothing at the box office. Seriously America! You say you want quality, original movies and yet you skip gems like this? What’s your deal?
Were people worried the jokes would be stale and unoriginal? I was a little concerned about that when the movie began with a lot of the same jokes I saw in the first trailer. But fear not! There are a ton of jokes that you won’t see coming. You’ll put your guard down, have your back to the screen and WHAMMO! A big joke right in the face.
Were people worried Andy Samberg’s character would be grating? I was a little worried that Conner 4 Real would be a one-note(!) character who quickly got annoying. He wasn’t! Andy Samberg plays Conner expertly. Sure, he’s a dick and super arrogant, but you’re able to catch glimpses of a real human underneath the bravado.
Where people worried that all the celebrity cameos would make the movie an unfunny self-promotion piece? Wrong! So much of the humor comes from small bit parts and cameos. Yeah, there are a TON of cameos. It might be faster for me to list the celebrities who weren’t in this movie: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kanye West and… well, I think that might be it.
Obviously I’m exaggerating. There are thousands of famous people who didn’t make the cut. And it’s not like Popstar could get really, really famous musicians like the last two remaining Beatles… oh they both show up in this too? Dayum.
It’s kind of a plus and a minus, but I actually wished I got to spend more time with a lot of the smaller parts of the movie. Not because the main characters weren’t good, it’s just that the minor characters were so much fun. Will Arnett’s scenes were some of my favorites. I would watch an entire movie about Will Arnett running a TMZ-like show with comedians like Chelsea Peretti.
Where people worried that the music wouldn’t fun? They shouldn’t have been. If you like The Lonely Island’s music, you’ll like the music in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. The movie maintains the standard level of quality and goofiness The Lonely Island has exhibited in their previous work. Not all of the songs struck a chord (!) with me but I did find myself humming a couple of the tunes a long time after the movie ended.
The movie is full of quality songs with quality lyrics:
- “Mona Lisa, you’re the original basic bitch.”
- “She wanted me to fuck her harder than the US government fucked Bin Laden.”
- “It just seems– not gay– wrong– not gay– that no one seems to care– sports”
Conner 4 Real is a poet.
However, I wish the final song had a little more oomph. In comparison to the ones that came before, it felt rather flat and unrefined. But aside from the finale, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is full of memorable songs, and memorable music videos and stage performances. And there actually is a capable story in the framework of the movie.
Did people thing the movie would be a plotless pile of drivel? That’s a fair concern. I had some concern that it would just be series of Lonely Island music videos with a lazy plot tying it all together. Well, the plot is kind of lazy. It’s a very, very well worn story. And you know what? It doesn’t really matter. The predictability of the plot doesn’t affect the music and comedy.
You already know how Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping ends. I don’t even have to give you a hint. As soon as you see the opening of the movie you’re going to say, “Oh, yup. I know how this ends.” You’ll be right. That is exactly how it ends.
And sure, it would have been great to see some sort of wildly riveting story that pushes me through unseen twists and turns. How fantastic would it be if Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping challenged my perception of right and wrong by exploring the psychoses of deeply, fine-tuned characters.
That would have been great. But offensive vulgarities and dick jokes are good too.