POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING – Film Review

Conner Friel (Andy Samberg), Owen Bouchard (Jorma Taccone) and Lawrence Dunn (Akiva Schaffer) become famous after launching their rap album. But Conner abandons the band to form a solo career and is forced to see his celebrity status crash after the project fails.

Usually I do not start reviews off like this but it is honestly essential when it comes to this film – Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is an absolutely insane movie. Nothing about it is by the book or conventional. Not just in terms of comedy movies, but in terms of movies in general. This is a film that is so self-aware and so gut-bustingly hilarious at every single turn that it ends up becoming one of the funniest comedies of this decade.

One of the reasons why Popstar works so well and is as funny as it is, is because of Samberg as the lead character Conner. He is so full of energy and he is consistently amusing to watch throughout. This is an extremely short film, not even reaching the one hour and thirty minute mark, but that is not really a problem, because the writing and the performances were so well done and written that the time blows by you.

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Jorma Taccone (left) as Owen “Kid Contact” Bouchard and Andy Samberg (right) as Conner “Kid Conner” Friel / Conner4Real in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

By far, one of the best elements to this film are the musical numbers that we see throughout. They are not musical numbers akin to Mary Poppins or Singing in the Rain. Not at all. These are filthy yet hilarious songs that actually made me cry tears of laughter. While these sequences come out of left field and can be incredibly jarring at first, after a while, you get used to it and you are left begging for more.

But aside from Popstar being an absolute laugh riot, something that genuinely surprised me in a good way about this movie was the fact that I found myself actually being invested in the characters and the story that it wanted to tell. I actually cared about Conner and his life and what he was going to do next in his career. While this movie never becomes deathly serious (which is a good thing), it still manages to have its emotional beats and whenever they land, they land perfectly. They never come across as too corny. They always feel earned. There were some moments in the third act that were truly brilliant.

However, I will say, that while the third act is quite good, it was nowhere near as entertaining or as funny as the preceding acts. The third act dials down the humor a lot, making it less enjoyable and it was a shame to see the tone of the first two acts get swapped out towards the end.

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Andy Samberg as Conner “Kid Conner” Friel / Conner4Real in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

But overall, this movie genuinely surprised me like you would not believe. I really did not have any expectations before seeing this, especially because of that weird and quite honestly bad title. But I am perfectly happy and comfortable with calling Popstar one of the funniest comedies of the decade.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is one of the best comedies of the decade thanks to a brilliant and witty script, and a bonkers performance from Andy Samberg.

Overall Grade: A-

MPAA Rating: R for some graphic nudity, language throughout, sexual content and drug use

Cast: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows

Directed by: Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Running Time: 87 minutes

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