Justin Bieber’s life beyond pop stardom — namely his personal post-teen transformation — is almost completely obscured in “Justin Bieber: Our World.” The film opens with his supportive wife Hailey in bed with him just before he plays a New Year’s Eve gig in 2020, his first full concert in three years.
But this show is different because it has to be: It takes place on the rooftop of the Beverly Hilton Hotel as Covid-19 cases were surging in Los Angeles. The doc encapsulates the shared exhilaration of watching Bieber perform during this socially distanced concert spectacle, but it’s only for the biggest Beliebers. And even they, too, may wish it didn’t play out in such tedious mechanical fashion. Alternating like clockwork between live numbers and soft insight dulls the film’s rhythm, diminishing the excitement it’s going for as it counts down the days to showtime.
The director Michael D. Ratner only grazes the surface of a newly grounded and grateful Bieber; the star’s heartthrob-to-husband evolution is safely teased out in self-captured vlogs and calculated crew member testimonials. Mostly, Ratner stays fixed on pandemic-era concert planning, from daily swab tests to an infected crew member.
Another obstacle comes in the form of bad weather just before the show — anything, it seems, to avoid a deeper, more personal look at Bieber (though we do learn he was a fan of the mustache, just not in certain pictures). If “Our World” has anything to say, it’s that the chaos caused by a global health crisis can be a guarded pop star’s greatest diversion.
Justin Bieber: Our World
Rated PG. Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes. Watch on Amazon.
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