Director: Judd Apatow
Writers: Judd Apatow and Pam Brady
Starring: Karen Gillan, Iris Apatow, Fred Armisen, Maria Bakalova, David Duchovny, Keegan-Michael Key, Leslie Mann, Kate McKinnon, Pedro Pascal, Peter Serafinowicz, Guz Khan
Judd Apatow’s latest film, The Bubble, was inspired by Jurassic World Dominion, which was notably shot during the midst of the pandemic. In The Bubble a group of actors live in a hotel together while shooting the latest movie in the Cliff Beasts franchise. There’s an amazing cast, with an almost never-ending number of cameos throughout, and that’s about it.
Karen Gillan stars as Carol Cobb, who is re-appearing in Cliff Beats 6 after turning down the previous instalment to work on different films, that didn’t go down particularly well. There’s some tension as she first appears on set with her old co-stars. Then adding in isolation periods, positive covid tests, and a director with an artistic vision, the problems on set start mount.
On paper, this film could be brilliant. There’s an incredible cast, the premise sounds good, but it just doesn’t pull it all together. The script just isn’t that funny, which is just a shame. Apatow’s last film, The King of Staten Island, was excellent and this is a real disappointment in comparison. The actors are playing exaggerated caricatures, but there’s still a sense of ‘poor us’ throughout. It’s uncomfortable watching Karen Gillan and co going insane while in isolation in a hotel suite that’s smaller than a lot of people’s houses. The film doesn’t do enough to really make fun of them, and it brings back the same bad taste as celebrities singing Imagine from the beginning of 2020.
Despite that, the final half hour of the film does manage to bring some laughs and is almost worth watching. There’s a lot of cameos, which are funnier than most of the main jokes of the film, especially James McAvoy. While most of the jokes don’t land, there are still a few funny moments, it’s passable as a comedy but nothing spectacular. It’s incredibly long, around the two hour mark, and really shouldn’t be anywhere close to it. It does feel very sluggish, especially without many good jokes.
Somehow The Bubble just doesn’t work, despite and excellent cast. It’s way too long, not very funny, and not really worth going out of your way for. It’s a sad reminder of the last two years.
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