By Darin Skaggs
The Lonely Island is a popular comedy hip-hop group with members Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer. They have made some of the funniest, beloved videos in the realm of modern comedy. They have memorable songs like Throw it on the Ground, YOLO and I Just Had Sex. In their new film Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, which is directed by Taccone and Schaffer, they take on a heighted version of the life of a popstar through the mockumentary type filmmaking like The Office or the Christopher Guest films. It works as the perfect dumb comedy filled with hilarious cameos from a group of The Lonely Island family like Justin Timberlake, Will Forte, Bill Hader and many, many more. Popstar tells the tale of the fall of boy band The Style Boyz with The Lonely Island members who play Lawrence (Schaffer), Owen (Taccone) and Conner (Samberg). Conner is the one who is larger than life and goes off after a big feud in the band to have a solo career where he takes the persona of Conner4Real.
The movie does well with its jokes, throwing as many as it can at you. It finds side characters and gives them weird attributes just for the purpose to try and get a chuckle out of you. Bill Hader guests for a brief moment to be the bands guitar manager who explains to the camera that when he is not tuning his guitars, he spends his time flat lining to view the afterlife for a brief second before being revised by a defibrillator. So many of the cameos get side tracked from the story with their weird quirks, and luckily most of them land. There are enough strange jokes that I doubt anyone will not find something to laugh at for the majority of the film. Samberg is a great comic presence here, him being the most focused on character. He is not doing anything groundbreaking or new to his style of comedy, but the phrase “If it is not broken, don’t fix it” would definitely come into play here.
The music is obviously going to be a big part of this movie with two thirds of the real life group directing and the other band member being the film’s star. The songs are hilarious, the first is an ironic song about how Conner is very humble which features a hologram of Adam Levine from Maroon 5. Other great songs include Finest Girl (Bin Laden Song) and Incredible Thoughts. The only gripe one could have with these songs are that they would not be realistic songs played on the radio. If that is something that will bug you remember this is a film where famous singer Seal claims the scars on his face are from a wolf attack as he is being attacked by a new group of wolves, so if a version of our reality is what you are after then this film will not be for you.
The movie makes good use of its mockumentary format. If you go in a Lonely Island fan you will be pleased, if you are not you will know if you are when you leave. There is no big statement being made here, there is barely a message except that friendship is awesome. This is just a fantastic comedy that is bound have you laughing for most of its runtime.