“Dick in a Box” came out ten years ago. Let that sink in for a moment.
The Lonely Island’s rise from SNL sketch videos to online viral sensation is one of the best things to happen to the internet in the past decade, and now they’re making their way into theaters (unless you count Hot Rod).
With Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, the comedic music trio tackles the mockumentary with laughs, cameos and a slew of new songs, but even at ninety-minutes it feels just a tad too long.
In what feels like an HBO Special with a slightly bigger budget, Andy Samberg tackles the role of Conner4Real (a play on his last name Friel). Cocky, successful, and widely influential (according to the bevy of musical cameos that include Questlove, Mariah Carey and a dozen others) Conner can be a lot at times, and since it’s purely his movie, there isn’t much time without him on screen. Though he can get a little overwhelming, Samberg has a lot of fun with the role, proving he is at the top of his game.
On the eve of his newest record, Connquest, and a massive international tour, Conner is at the top of the music world. But when the record flops and proves to not only be widely offensive but also just plain crap (literally shit emoji status), Conner struggles with recovering his image and name.
Heavily commenting on the current state of the music industry, and making sly jabs at major events like U2’s oh-so-cherished Songs of Innocence, the film offers plenty of chuckles even if some of them fall flat. This might be weird to say about a comedy, but there are some times when it seems like the writers were simply trying too hard to cram in that one extra joke, as many of them come on the tail-end of another. Excellent cameos (who I shall leave nameless) work wonders, just keep your eyes peeled or you might miss some.
The music, which has been seen on various programs prior to its release, is solid, but some concert scenes last a fraction past what is to be desired. “I’m So Humble,” “Finest Girl (Bin Laden Song)” and “Things in My Jeep” are just some of the plethora of songs, but none quite stand out as much as their classics like “Jizz in My Pants” and “I’m On a Boat.”
Fans of The Lonely Island, SNL, or simply music in general will find much to enjoy in this hilarious look at a popstar who isn’t far from what we create musicians to be anymore. Samberg rocks the show (literally), even if he becomes a lot to handle. Just don’t go in expecting too much and enjoy the musical ride.