In this sense, "Never Say Never" is a coming of age story like many others: boy grapples with becoming man before he's ready. In a completely different sense (a three dimensional one) it's a rocking ride through Bieber's "My World Tour," a chance to watch Bieber pop and lock and shimmy and shake and sing his heart out -- at one point, while sitting in an enormous steel heart-shaped frame suspended dizzying feet above the audience of one of his sold-out stadium shows.
At times, the 3-D bells and whistles turn cheesy. (Is it necessary to have baby photos of Bieber rain down over the crowd?) But it's all in good fun. "Never Say Never's" narrative and spectacle come together at Bieber's Madison Square Garden show, at the end of which, sweaty and slightly hoarse, he muses about how much selling out the iconic arena means to him. He launches into an encore: "Baby." The crowd goes crazy; he's invincible.
For now, anyway. As Usher reminds Bieber before MSG, "You won't be 16 forever."
The One-Sentence Summary: An insightful, engaging portrait of one of today's biggest pop sensations, with enough cheese and glitz to satisfy the most hardcore fanatic.
"Never Say Never," directed by Jon Chu, with Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Sean Kingston, Ludacris, Jaden Smith, Usher, and Boyz II Men, opens in theaters Friday, Feb. 11.