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Film Review: ‘Justin Bieber’s Believe’

December 27, 2013

It’s every bit as enthusiastically admiring and image-enhancing as you’d expect a documentary co-produced by its title subject to be. Still, “Justin Bieber’s Believe” is a slickly entertaining piece of work that will doubtless delight the young pop star’s fan base, and possibly engage curiosity seekers who have heretofore remained immune or indifferent to Bieber Fever. Director Jon M. Chu’s follow-up to his similarly celebratory “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” (2011) won’t likely match the earlier film’s $99 million worldwide haul — and not just because this 2D feature can’t rely on that pic’s 3D bump — but homevid biz could be impressive.

Continuing his role as Bieber’s authorized biographer, Chu deftly mixes spectacular performance sequences with backstage interviews and observations, along with ample footage of ecstatically screaming female fans. (At one point, Chu audaciously intercuts visual comparisons between Bieber Fever and Beatlemania.)

There’s a pronounced increase in actual concert footage in this latest chapter, along with myriad indications that the fresh-faced innocent on view in “Never Say Never” has grown more mature and guarded, and much more self-aware, as his phenomenal career continues apace. Just as important, there is a mild but discernible tension percolating just below the film’s surface — a teasing hint that, no matter what Bieber achieves as an entertainer, he has already begun to realize that each new accomplishment can quickly turn into a proverbial hard act to follow. Read More