Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping – 2016

Directors Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone
Screenplay Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone
Starring Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Tim Meadows, Sarah Silverman, Joan Cusack, Maya Rudolph, Imogen Poots, Chris Redd

I didn’t hop on the Lonely Island train. I listened to enough of their stuff and found it to be a bit obvious. Palm Springs changed my mind on Andy Samberg, so I decided to give this a shot. The result is an above average comedy that hits some pretty nice shots, while not biting the hand of those who may be targeted by the satire.

Popstar… is a faux documentary, kind of an updated This is Spinal Tap for the boy band generation. It documents the rise and crumble of a rap group The Style Boyz into the burgeoning superstardom of its lead singer, which also goes to hell.

There are a ton of guest spots on here. They reach the tipping point about 1/3 of the way through. The feeling that so many people are in on the joke makes it a little less funny.

This is a funny movie however. Some moments had us doubled over. In particular, the song and video Equal Rights, the robot mask, the wedding proposal and the changing scene.

Overall, the team behind Lonely Island, Samberg, Schaffer and Taccone, do a good job walking that Don Rickles line. They want to tease the famous, like Rickles did Sinatra. They just don’t want to be whacked by them later in a dark alley.

On the sliding scale, this is somewhere between …Tap and Tenacious D, with the former being standard bearer.

Nothing on here isn’t sweet in nature. This takes from the biting comedy aspect and gives the feeling that everything is just as it should be. They even take the Homer Simpson joke about USA Today and give it another run through. Not a bad joke. Seen it before, but it’s still kind of funny. Most of the film is like this.

In all it does what you want good comedies to do by giving several re-watchable moments and leaves a pleasant smile on your face. Great comedy risks more, but these guys have friendships with most of the people they are skewering. That’s okay, though. It’s only a Friday stuck at home in Covid 19 season.

(***1/2 out of *****)

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