Film Review: Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

2011 – 105mn – U

Directed by Jon M Chu. With Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Ludacris, Usher. Review by Walter Nichols

Concert films are Hollywood’s new way of sucking money out of your pocket, and the 3D, teen-idol concert film the genre’s most reliable asset. After the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana, it’s the turn of child sensation Justin Bieber to have a film out in cinemas.

It’s hard to have anything to say about the film: if you’re a teenager and a Bieber fan who doesn’t mind paying over the odds for the 3D equivalent of a television biography documentary, you’ll enjoy the film. Otherwise, you’re out of luck. Never Say Never chronicles the rise of young Bieber, from street performer to YouTube sensation to record-breaking superstar, culminating in the aforementioned concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden, which sold out in 20 minutes. The nearly two-hour long film is essentially a flawlessly engineered ad for the Bieber brand, complete with B-list guest stars (Boyz II Men, Miley Cyrus, Ludacris, Usher, and Will Smith’s son all join him on stage). It’s energetic, melodramatic, and disingenuous to the max – much like Bieber’s own music.

Star rating: 1 out of 5 stars