DOCUMENTARY; 1hr 45min
DIRECTED BY: Jon Chu
The kids are all right: from left, Bieber and Jaden Smith
Justin Bieber is a 17-year-old Canadian kid (16 when this love letter about his 2010 tour was filmed), a multimillion-dollar business, a popularity phenomenon and the mischievous nucleus of an unorthodox on-road clan that includes his mother, Pattie Mallette. To witness him working the screaming throngs of tot-to-mom female fans in the humongous arenas he packs out is something else: the poppy numbers are nothing electrifying, but the B-boy is self-possession in action with a creamy presence that can’t be taught.
Never Say Never is also a potted biopic built around the build-up to Justin’s August 31, 2010, Madison Square Garden gig. His history is too short-lived to be convoluted: from banging plastic drums as a sprog to his 2008 YouTube discovery by manager Scooter Braun and his signing with record producer L.A. Reid, it has been a socially networked express. There’s a sweet innocence to the fandom, as there seems to be to JB himself: Lord knows how he balances such soaring onstage highs, but you have to applaud him for getting there.