After Hot Rod, The Lonely Island team of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone tackled the world of pop music yet bombed bigger than the movie’s hero, Conner4Real making only $9 million back from a $20 million dollar budget.
I have no idea why. This is the kind of movie that rewards multiple viewings, sticking to the maxim that makes so many 80’s comedies work. Come up with a simple plot and let hijinks ensue.
Once, Conner4Real (Samberg) was in The Style Boyz with his childhood friends Lawrence and Owen (Schaffer and Taccone), but his success made him a spinoff act. Now, Owen is his DJ, forced to wear a giant head that plays the sound from the Tom Cruise era War of the Worlds, while Lawrence hides at his farm.
The joy of this film is how it juxtaposes real life artists — Mariah Carey, the Rza, even Arcade Fire — with the unreal world that Conner lives in. He employs thirty people, including a man who punches him in the privates so that he remembers where he came from.
But the second album just can’t live up to his debut — Thriller, Also — even when his sponsor, Aquaspin, plays them in all of their appliances. Soon, his tour is joined by a new opening act — Saturday Night Live‘s Chris Redd as Hunter the Hungry — and their friendship quickly sours.
There’s a really deep joke in the midst of all this silliness. After saving Conner and his fiancee from wolves — don’t ask — the singer Seal claims that wolves caused his scars. In real life, they came from lupus, but seeing as how the scientific name for wolves is canis lupus, that’s a pretty far way to go for a throwaway laugh.
If you don’t like movies that get completely stupid, there’s nothing I can do to convince you to watch this. But for those that just like being entertained, this one does it every time.