2016 Certificate: 15

Synopsis

The world can't get enough of hip-hop icon Conner4Real (Andy Samberg). At least that's what he thinks. Unfortunately, his new album sucks and his fans just want him to reform his old boy band The Style Boyz. But as a film crew joins Conner for his not-quite-sellout tour, the extent of his talent, vision and integrity is truly revealed. With fellow Style Boyz Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer joining Samberg on both sides of camera, the stage is set for a star-studded mockumentary that pops the over-inflated balloon of celebrity culture and the music industry. Kanye dig it?

Directors

  • Akiva Schaffer

  • Jorma Taccone

Cast

  • Andy Samberg

  • Jorma Taccone

  • Akiva Schaffer

  • Sarah Silverman

  • Tim Meadows

  • Maya Rudolph

Review

There are plenty of hoots to be had as we hit the road with Conner4Real (Samberg), the pop prat who broke up the pioneering rap trio The Style Boyz to go it solo.

Yet while former bandmate and best friend Owen (Taccone) has stuck by Conner as his loyal DJ, grouchy Lawrence (Schaffer) now lives in quiet disgruntlement on a farm in Colorado.

But nobody cares about them. Or do they? As his second album ConnQuest is released to the sort of reviews people have to scrape off their shoes and his tour barely covers its costs, Conner clearly needs to do something to get his career back on track.

Unfortunately Maya Rudolph's PR nitwit Deborah (aptly pronounced 'Duh'-borer) helps to ensure that every publicity stunt ends in disaster.

A wifi gimmick causes a nationwide blackout. A televised proposal to girlfriend Ashley (Imogen Poots) results in a bloodbath. And worst of the lot, a wardrobe malfunction leaves everyone questioning Conner's manhood.

Still, as an encounter with one autograph hunter proves, few stars are willing to get closer to members of the public...

As the self-inflicted embarrassments pile up, so do the cameos. Whether playing it straight or for laughs, everyone gets into the self-parodying spirit, with Mariah Carey, Pink, Ringo Starr and Simon Cowell just some of the music biz icons getting in on the punchlines.

As embodied by the colossally irritating crew of a TMZ-style newsroom, it also deserves credit for lampooning the tattlers as well as the tattled.

That it eventually runs out of ideas is no surprise - it is, after all, just an SNL sketch writ large. But it's still a cheekily enjoyable swipe at the fickleness of fans, fame and the global gossip machine.

Elliott Noble