Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

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The film industry is unlike any other business on earth. The general economic rule is if you make a good product, and if there is demand for such a product, people will buy it. And then you’ll be successful and live out the rest of your days in a Spanish villa. But it seems to be the exact opposite in the film industry. It is completely unpredictable. The best product may flop, while a mediocre one will capture the public’s imagination and make truckloads of cash. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is one of those good products that inexplicably flopped, despite good reviews, a solid cast, and songs about “Ibitha” and Bin Laden. Okay, re-reading the end of that last sentence may explain why it didn’t do so well.

Created by The Lonely Island, the satirical songwriting trio who wrote most of Saturday Night Live’s best “Digital Shorts” (looking at you, “Dick in a Box”), the film sticks to their most beloved target: the absurdity of the popular music industry.

Conner (Andy Samberg), used to be part of a boy band known as the Style Boyz before breaking out as a solo artist. Of the remaining Style Boyz, one is his DJ (Jorma Taccone) and the other left the music scene entirely to become a farmer (Akiva Schaffer). The film follows the typical behind-the-scenes story: Conner is coming out with his second album, sales aren’t going as well as expected, his manager is nervous, and a new upstart is edging in on his territory. It also has atypical stuff like wolf attacks, bee attacks, giant robot heads, and a magic trick gone awry.

Like how This is Spinal Tap skewers rock music, Popstar decimates pop music and its artificiality. It’s the funniest comedy to come out in a long time. See it before everyone else does. And don’t watch the trailer.

Grade: B+

 

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