"Ever since I was born, I was dope," Conner4Real (Andy Samberg) intimates at the beginning of Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. The film is 2016's answer to 1984's rock mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, but instead of satirizing self-inspired "rock gods," the Lonely Island parodies the fame-mongering celebrities who desperately attempt to immortalize their inherent "dopeness" through online oversharing and ill-advised publicity stunts. Jabs are specifically directed towards equally arrogant and insecure musicians like Macklemore, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber. As Connor4Real—the film's celebrity fuckboy incarnate—Samberg captures these artists' very worst qualities.
But it'd be wrong to laud Popstar as a grand roast of modern-day celebrity—the film's peppered with countless cameos, including one from the Biebs himself. In other words, Popstar seems reliant on the winking participation of the people it mocks. While it pokes fun at unseasonable fur coats and onstage holograms, it refuses to bruise any egos, which makes for too many predictable, called-in plot lines and too many jokes that are only sort-of funny. For a few magnificent moments, at least, the film's main players completely nail their targets—particularly Chris Redd's impersonation of Tyler, The Creator and Samberg's Macklemore-y performance of "Equal Rights" (which could, alternatively, be titled "Not Gay").
Popstar's greatest strength is its topicality: It's fascinating to watch a movie where the strongest jokes are completely reliant on the audience's fluency in recent pop culture. While flaming hoverboards and EDM DJ headgear that looks "like the tip of Optimus Prime's dick" might not be funny in five years, right now, it's hard not to laugh along.