• by Wes Singleton

Review: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, C

Andy Samberg

Rated R, 86 minutes

The new mockumentary "Never Stop Never Stopping" starring "Saturday Night Live" vet Andy Samberg and his The Lonely Island comedy group spoofs musical documentaries such as Bieber's "Never Say Never" is a charming but exceedingly thin and predictable, yet memorably featuring a load of cameos from those in the business that will test your pop culture knowledge. Samberg is Conner4Real, a world-famous recording artist with a massive fanbase and 32 people on his personal payroll. The documentary follows Conner as he undergoes the ups and downs of the pop star life, especially after his second album is a flop and he is forced to do whatever he can to stay in the spotlight, possibly reuniting with his old boy band The Style Boyz (Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone of The Lonely Island) that made him famous in the first place. Directed by Schaffer and Taccone, and co-written by The Lonely Island, along with producing with Judd Apatow, the comedy mockumentary "Never Stop Never Stopping" isn't a few funny moments, and Samberg and company give it their all, but it feels awfully thin and stretched at 86 moments, barely holding enough interest than some of The Lonely Island's Digital Shorts on "SNL" that made them famous, including the Emmy-winning "D--k in a Box." As one of those digital shorts, it would've worked perfect, but its premise grows tired after a few minutes, though there are some amusing moments (most too profane to include here, including one involving Osama Bin Laden), including the funny and meant-to-be-horribly offensive Conner video "Equal Rights" ("not gay!") and the crowd-pleasing climax with none other than Michael Bolton singing backup and featuring Justin Timberlake in a fish costume. Because there isn't much, it's stuffed with shock value - an uncomfortable scene in a limo among them - along with scores of cameos, including Joan Cusack, Jimmy Fallon, Snoop Dogg, Carrie Underwood, Simon Cowell and Usher, and outside of Timberlake and Bolton, the most memorable include a very "humble" Mariah Carey and Will Arnett as the leader of a "TMZ"-style show that mocks that show and how amused they are with themselves. Some of it works, some of it doesn't, and while it's thinly amusing, it'll likely engage some smiles rather than genuine guffaws, unless you're a diehard Samberg/Lonely Island fan, who has an ironic and similar career trajectory as The Style Boyz (Samberg went on to great heights, while Schaffer and Taccone less so), a case of art imitating life.

#popstar #andysamberg #thelonelyisland #juddapatow