Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

Column: The Word on Films   |   Date Published: Tuesday, 10 May 11   |   Author: Melissa Wellham   |   6 years ago

I went into Justin Bieber: Never Say Never feeling very pleased with myself. This film was going to be so appalling, and I was going to feel so self-satisfied once I’d written a scathing review revealing to the world what everyone presumably already knew: that a 12-year-old this pretty didn’t have enough of a life to deserve to be the subject of a documentary. 

How wrong I was. For one thing, Justin Bieber is actually 17-years-old. For another, he is, as it turns out, kind of talented. And thirdly, even if he weren’t, this documentary is actually well made. 

Showing the ten-day lead-up to Bieber’s sold-out concert in Madison Square Garden – a landmark performance area, which has staged greats such as The Spice Girls and Metallica – the film covers Beibz’s rise from small-town Canadian kid to worldwide tween superstar. 

With interviews from Bieber’s friends and family, his manager, his security guard, his fashion director – and every single other person in his tour troupe – the film also manages to capture the importance of social media to Bieber’s success. Bieber got his start through YouTube, and his millions of Twitter fans love the young star, in part, because he seems so accessible. It’s fascinating to see behind-the-scenes of pre-packaged pop superstardom. Not that the kid doesn’t have talent. Yes, I am officially a Belieber. 

Fast and Furious 5:

Fast and Furious 5 is unashamedly dumb and disastrous. The cars are fast, the women lose their clothes faster, and the dialogue is definitely not fast-paced. But it’s still relatively fun.

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are back, reprising their roles as an ex-con and an ex-cop, now both working for the same side: ‘bad guy with a heart of gold.’ Along with these two is a selection of characters from the previous four films. Much like the individual characters themselves matter very little, the plot is equally unimportant. People speed, people break road rules, people perform unrealistic stunts: you know the drill. 

The only important plot point is that Dwayne Johnson (the artist formerly known as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and even more formerly as just “The Rock”) stars as a bad-ass cop out to catch the good-bad guys. The sight of Vin Diesel and The Rock in a stand-off makes one feel that two universes have collided, and there is about to be a rip in the space-time continuum. Luckily, the filmmakers have given Johnson a goatee, so it’s possible to tell the two characters apart. 

Most of the enjoyment this reviewer gained from watching the film, came from whispering snide comments to her fellow cinema-goers and snickering loudly whenever there was a particularly poorly-written line of dialogue (read: every line of dialogue). But that might speak in Fast 5’s favour: there’s something for everyone. 


I really enjoyed Thor. And not just for the rippling-abs factor – I personally preferred the hot manipulative brother, but let’s not get into that. Thor was just straight-up enjoyable, and that’s what you want in a superhero film, no?

I wasn’t expecting much, even though I love what Marvel Studios is doing with their superhero franchises (Linkage! End-credit scenes! THE AVENGERS!). Honestly, I thought it would be a bit naff – Thor (Chris Hemsworth), an arrogant and war-hungry king-to-be, gets himself banished from Asgard and lands on Earth, only to meet a human woman, Jane (Natalie Portman), and learn a whole lot of lessons about what it means to really be a hero. Derisive snort, right?

Wrong. Happily, Thor is surprisingly humorous, has a great vibe, and delivers an interesting storyline. While Portman hardly delivers her best work, the supporting characters are solid and Hemsworth is charismatic. The relationship between Thor and his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is particularly intriguing, and makes up for the cold fish ‘love story’ between Thor and Jane. I’ve seen more believable romantic storylines in car commercials, but luckily it doesn't drag the film down too much. Throw in some sneaky Iron Man refs and I’m pretty much in a frenzy of nerd-excitement.

Overall, Thor definitely has its flaws (Hemsworth screaming into the sky makes you laugh more than cry), but it’s a decent few hours of popcorn escapism that’s worth catching.


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