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Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (7/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 87 minutes.

Not for children.

Much to my surprise, this is a pretty good movie. Adam Sandburg plays a self-absorbed rap singer, Conner Friel, aka Conner4Real, who trashes everybody and, after initial success with a hit record, goes through some tough times when he gets too big for his britches, takes all the credit, and branches out on his own, diminishing his two pals.

As with most Judd Apatow (he produced) movies, the production values are exceptional and there are a lot of F bombs. But the rap music is surprisingly good, the concerts entertaining and the film reasonably enjoyable.

Itís told in the guise of a mockumentary with lots of stars like Mariah Carey, Usher, 50 Cent, Carrie Underwood, Ringo Starr, and even Simon Cowell along with a short (donít blink) appearance by Paul McCartney as a member of a concert audience, making cameos.

As promised by its title, while it admirably mocks the sounds rap musicians try to foist off as ďmusic,Ē and ďlyrics,Ē Sandburg and his fellow SNL expatriots, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone (who are co-directors and supporting actors as well as collaborating with Sandburg on the script) have apparently been planning this film since they were teenagers.

The script isnít bad, the directing displays some talent, and the acting is good, especially Sandburg. It shows that Conner is not only vain but stupid (think Justin Bieber, who, according to Sandburg, isnít offended) and when Connerís second album is a bomb he loses everything, reputation and friends.

Despite its hackneyed Hollywood Ending, the story is secondary to what make this film diverting which are, in order, the production values, the music, and the satire. Even better, itís mercifully short.