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The Lonely Island, the trio behind the funniest musical videos on "Saturday Night Live" for the past decade, transfers its skills well to the big screen with "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping," a raunchy take on concert documentaries.
Directors Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone follow Conner4Real (Andy Samberg), a self-absorbed pop star who's just realizing his much-hyped sophomore album is terrible. (Out of four stars, Rolling Stone gives it a poop emoji.) After a sponsorship deal backfires, Conner goes on tour but finds his opening act (Chris Redd) is getting more popular than he is.
Conner, his ego spiraling out of control, resists the move that will save his career: a reunion of his boy-band trio, the Style Boyz, who are also his childhood best friends Owen (Taccone), now his long-suffering DJ, and Lawrence (Schaffer), who retired to a Colorado farm because he resents how Conner stole his best lyrics.
The script (by Samberg, Schaffer and Taccone) is a rapid-fire joke fest that takes sharp aim at the excesses of modern pop music and celebrity culture, from Conner's fawning yes-men to the tabloid-TV crew laughing at his downfall (with Will Arnett spoofing TMZ creator Harvey Levin). The crude, cameo-filled "Popstar" isn't as cutting as the 2007 music biopic parody "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" though both movies have a scene-stealing turn by Tim Meadows, here playing Conner's double-dealing manager.
'Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping'
Opens Friday, June 3, in theaters everywhere; rated R for some graphic nudity, language throughout, sexual content and drug use; 86 minutes.