Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Shaffer, Chris Redd, Tim Meadows, Sarah Silverman, Maya Rudolph, Joan Cusack, Imogen Poots, Bill Hader, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, Will Arnett, Mike Birbiglia, Usher, Pink, Seal, Pharrell Williams, Snoop Dog, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Justin Bieber, Danger Mouse, Carrie Underwood, Nas, 50 Cent, Michael Bolton, Ringo Starr, Simon Cowell, Akon, Mariah Carrie, Adam Levine, A$AP Rocky, Mario Lopez

Popstar is three or four brilliantly stupid songs in an album full of filler. Go for the concert footage; fall asleep in between.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is Andy Samberg’s baby. After his Saturday Night live stint – where he and Justin Timberlake perfected musical numbers like “Dick in a Box” – Samberg’s career has had highs and lows. His series Brooklyn Nine-Nine just finished its third season on Fox. However, every so often, Samberg has also been stuck in crappy Adam Sandler flicks. One of his amazing – but less well-known – side projects is a great spoof band called The Lonely Island; here he and his band mates get to show that off. It’s the best part of this pop mockumentary.

Getting to see The Lonely Island's Jorma Taccone, Akiva Shaffer, and Andy Samberg work together is the best part. Samberg's buddy's directed the film.

Getting to see The Lonely Island’s Jorma Taccone, Akiva Shaffer, and Andy Samberg work together is the best part. Samberg’s buddy’s directed the film.

Samberg is Connor4Real, an obnoxiously rich and privileged rapper/vocalist who’s about to put out his second solo album, ConnQuest. He was once in a well-loved band called Style Boyz with childhood buddies Owen and Lawrence (his Lonely Island mates Taccone and Shaffer). However, cute and gregarious Connor overshadowed the other two. Lawrence used an onstage fistfight to punch his way out of the band. Owen became a DJ backup to Connor4Real’s rising star.

Anyone can see Connor’s arrogance and know where this plot is going. It’s a behind-the-scenes musical meltdown waiting to happen.

Samberg’s definitely uses connections. He’s well loved in the entertainment world. Just look at the list of stand-up comics and music people he roped into this. Sure, most gags are pretty obvious, but the stars seem game.

There are plenty of stars, including a hologram of Adam Levine.

There are plenty of stars, including a hologram of Adam Levine.

That’s part of the problem. Too many times, cameos and goofy one-off pranks carry the film while the overall plot goes off-pitch. What this begs for is a cumulative comedic tour-de-force that ends in a showstopper of hilarious genius.

We don’t get that.

What we do get are fun songs. Pink sings about equal rights while Connor inserts “not gay!” after every single stanza. The video is hilariously homophobic as it tries to espouse equality. (And it’s a not-so-sly insult to Macklemore and Ryan’s “Same Love.”)

We also experience a song where the popstar’s girlfriend asks him to fuck her like the US did Bin Laden. She even dressed like the dead Middle Easterner, albeit slightly sexier…slightly.

Ratings Key

See it now! Buy the DVD! Quote lines at parties!

Definitely worth the price of admission

It’s useful as a distraction

Maybe if someone else pays and you need a nap

Slightly worse than eternal damnation

These over-the-top, crude songs further point out the weaknesses of the story in between the tunes. There’s nothing surprising, and what Popstar has to say about modern music isn’t very enlightening.

For many audiences, the staggering number of famous cameos might just carry the day. For me, the tasteless songs made it worth it. I just wish the plot were as clever, crass, and in-your-face as the music.

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