Ever heard of The Lonely Island? If you haven’t, then Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping will play out for you in one of two ways – either it will utterly confound you or have you rolling in the aisles with laughter.
For those uninitiated, the Lonely Island began life as a musical comedy trio (consisting of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone). A popular fixture of Saturday Night Live, their surrealist humour and hilarious lyrics beautifully parodied the modern music industry and current pop trends.
Popstar plays out more or less the same, satirising celebrity culture, boy bands and the modern music scene, whilst serving up crazy comedy, hilarious songs and a plethora of celebrity cameos. Turning focus on Connor, an ex-boyband member and now successful solo singer, the film follows him as he sets about releasing his difficult second album, whilst his music career and reputation starts to nosedive. Rest assured, hilarity ensues.
The spirit of This Is Spinal Tap is present throughout. The mockumentary style suits the comedy well, with interviews, archive footage and fly on the wall camerawork all utilised for comedic effect. The cameos are too numerous to list here, but each one is incredibly funny and adds real credibility to the film, especially Snoop Dog and Seal’s appearences, which are weird but wonderful. The film also pokes fun at all manner of popular culture trends, with particular laugh out loud moments taking aim at TMZ, Kardashian-style reality TV, Bieber fever, U2 and iTunes, boyband reunions, gimmicky concert tours and the dying art of music production!
The soundtrack is the real highlight though, as expected. With songs sending up everything right and wrong with the music industry, there’s so much fun to be had. Typical of The Lonely Island, everything here is catchy, stupid and absolutely hilarious! Particular highlights include an expletive number comparing intercourse to the assassination of Bin Laden (yeah, we know!) and a fun send-up of Macklemore’s “Same Love”.
In a year chock full of so-so comedies, Popstar is a refreshing and consistent comedy, featuring some truly outrageous and out-there humour, but also incredibly smart in its satire. Whether you have heard a Lonely Island song before or not, it will certainly not ruin what is a fantastic, rip-roaring comedy.
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