Title – The Bubble (2022)
Director – Judd Apatow (Knocked Up)
Cast – Karen Gillan, Leslie Mann, Pedro Pascal, Keegan-Michael Key, David Duchovny
Plot – A rag-tag collection of actors and crew members try to complete filming of a new franchise entry during their isolated shoot in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I don’t like it. Stop being Bennedict Cumberbatch”
Review by Eddie on 26/04/2022
The king of mid-2000 comedy with his name attached to countless comedic projects such as The 40 Year Old Virgin, Superbad and Knocked Up, films that changed the Hollywood landscape forever with their ad-libbed flavor and craziness infused with heart and sentimentality, Judd Apatow has been struggling to remain relevant for a few years now with forgettable films like Trainwreck, Funny People and The King of Staten Island failing to make much of a mark but in a longstanding career across both film and TV, Apatow’s latest effort behind the camera The Bubble marks a new career low.
His first Netflix project, Apatow’s Covid-19 inspired pandemic bubble “comedy” is a star-studded affair that is both criminally unfunny and an unnecessarily long-winded experience that wastes the appealing premise and cast at its disposal to become a messy, lazy and uninspired effort that would’ve done well to spend many more months gestating in the script refinement phase, allowing Apatow to find the comedy core of the film that is missing in this released product as it stands.
What worked so well early in Apatow’s career as a director, mainly his talented casts ability to work with the director to produce off the cuff wit and humor and mix it with a story worth caring about, is entirely absent here in The Bubble.
With the main cast made up of Karen Gillan, Leslie Mann, Pedro Pascal (showing off some comedic chops you’re not likely to see in The Mandalorian), Keegan-Michael Key and David Duchovny all struggling as they try to play off one another to mine comedic gold but even if the film affords them over two hours of running time to produce the goods, there’s but a few brief and unspectacular moments found here including a far too late cameo from an X-Men veteran that shows a glimpse of what type of outlandish fun could’ve been had with this Covid-19 themed jaunt.
For the most part The Bubble features nothing more than a progression of seemingly unconnected scenes, supposedly hilarious movie within a movie moments of our cast filming their dinosaur themed blockbuster and far too many TikTok’s all joined as one with long-winded dialogue heavy character moments that fail to unearth one likeable or memorable character amongst a cast sheet that we all know can fire in the right comedy circumstances.
It’s hard to know whether Apatow’s approach here is plain laziness and expectation that sparks would just fly with the minimal effort or if in fact Apatow was just overly confident and detrimentally cocky about what he was delivering but his film is neither smart, funny or inventive enough to save itself from becoming a feature about as appealing as spending two weeks in isolation.
Final Say –
A messy, unfunny and boorishly long new wannabe comedy from Judd Apatow, The Bubble showcases a director lost in his own world with one beginning to wonder more loudly than ever if the one time Hollywood comedy icon has jumped the shark for good.
1 Covid-19 swab out of 5