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Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (U)

Jon Chu
Justin Bieber

The ViewNewcastle Review

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Review byCassam Looch16/02/2011

Opens Friday 18 February 2011

Three out of Five stars
Running Time: 107 mins

It might just be another concert movie about a teen sensation, but unlike the Miley Cyrus and Jonas Brothers films (that were also in 3D) Justin Bieber: Never Say Never has an engaging back-story that captures Bieber's meteoric rags-to-riches rise to stardom.

What's it all about?
As teen-sensation Justin Bieber prepares to headline the biggest show of his career, we join him in the midst of a mammoth 86-date tour. The famous arena of Madison Square Garden awaits in New York City, and we follow Bieber and his sizeable entourage as they face a series of issues on the way to the show.

The film uses archive footage from his childhood in Canada to showcase the musical talents of Bieber, with his mother introducing the early video clips. We then hear from a series of people from the later part of his evolution to global superstar telling us what makes him so special, which is all topped off with 3D footage from the lavish stage shows.

The Good
If you know nothing about Justin Bieber, then there is no denying that this provides a comprehensive introduction. It's fascinating to see the young boy from Canada express his musical talent in a natural manner before he became famous, and even if you do know something about him already, this side of things might well be new to you. The Bieber family unit is the focus of the first half of the documentary and it's a wonderful addition in terms of providing context to what comes next.

The interviews with the fans are amusing, and give off a real sense of the Bieber-fever currently contaminating teenage girls everywhere. Also, the guest stars and cameos come thick and fast throughout, and it's fun to spot them even if they don’t hang around for long enough to make it onto the cast list.

The Bad
The set-up of the film focusing on the countdown to the big Madison Square Garden concert backfires somewhat as it makes certain sections drag, and the concert footage itself becomes repetitive and could certainly have done with a trim. The cameras also spend surprisingly little time with Bieber himself in terms of interviews, meaning those around him provide the narrative and have extended screen time, but the man (or should we say boy) of the moment is only captured in backstage segments and rehearsals.

There are also several false endings which probably serve as some sort of encore for the fans, but only really add unnecessary fat to the film.

Worth Seeing?
Difficult to believe, but Justin Bieber: Never Say Never delivers exactly what it promises. Fans won't need to be convinced, but casual observers will find it hard not to be swept up in the spectacle of it all. It’s not exactly a glowing recommendation, but it's worth a begrudging nod of approval.

Film Trailer

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (U)
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Content updated: 17/02/2011 20:15

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