REVIEW: ‘The Bubble’ Would Be A Better SNL Skit Than A Movie

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The Bubble

The pandemic has been a bizarre two years, especially regarding the tv and movie industry. There were so many strange stories leaking out from certain productions during the time that it makes you wonder what it must have been like. Well, wonder no more, as The Bubble documents a satirical look at a fictionalized movie franchise attempting to shoot their 6th film during the height of the virus.

Directed by Judd ApatowThe Bubble captures the process of high dollar movie-making during the pandemic in a highly meta nod to the dramatic nature of herding actors amidst all of the safety procedures in place. During the shoot, the cast and crew must bubble together in a premium location in England as they attempt to deal with multiple quarantine events and prolonged isolation,  resulting in an utterly chaotic set. Karen Gillan leads the all-star cast of Pedro Pascal, Keegan-Michael Key, David Duchovny, Peter Serafinowicz, Leslie Mann, Kate McKinnon, Maria Bakalova, and many, many more.

What captured my eye about the film was the comedic potential this whole premise held, and to be frank, the film does in deliver in specific parts some fantastically moments. Sadly, the humor gets lost so quickly during the chaos of literally everything else. Therein lies the problem. A simple summary of The Bubble is that it’s all just too much and lacks editing. Not simply editing the sequences together, but it lacks editing from a cast perspective, and it lacks editing from a plot perspective. This film tries to do too much at once, and you lose the forest for the trees.

The primary cast is pretty extensive, with some sizeable names on the list. This makes a film like this challenging to balance because the quality is all over. Take, for example, the brilliant performance of the wonderful and effervescent talents of Pedro Pascal. The man throws himself into this weird role of a troubled actor who’s lost his will to care about the judgment of others and simply lives life according to his wants and whims. I’ve not seen Pascal perform like this before, but the man has some perfect comedic timing and delivery, and I’d love to see him do more of it. While I’d love to sit and wax lyrical about Pascal because the man can do no wrong, even he can not save this film.

There are shaky performances from the likes of Leslie Mann and Iris Apatow. The irony shouldn’t be lost on you that a film that tries to smack you over the head with the problems of Hollywood and actors who’ve lost touch with reality features both Judd Apatow’s wife and daughter.

The overall direction is just bizarre as well. There are three different TikTok performances, a scene where someone gets their hand shot off (no, this is part of the actor’s experience, not as part of the film), and various fluff scenes that are neither funny nor add any substance to the story.

This brings me back to the overarching problem of The Bubble. It’s just too cluttered. The film is supposed to capture the extreme boredom and isolation of filming while on lockdown and the experiences of those actors. Still, Apatow tries to give every actor the necessary screen time to serve their development which results in it being way too long and just unnecessary. Rather than a specific comedic experience with a clear vision, it’s a patchwork of skits over two hours that’s clumsily jammed together.

The Bubble is available now exclusively on Netflix.


The Bubble
  • 6.5/10
    Rating - 6.5/10
6.5/10

TL;DR

This brings me back to the overarching problem of The Bubble. It’s just too cluttered. The film is supposed to capture the extreme boredom and isolation of filming while on lockdown and the experiences of those actors. Still, Apatow tries to give every actor the necessary screen time to serve their development which results in it being way too long and just unnecessary. Rather than a specific comedic experience with a clear vision, it’s a patchwork of skits over two hours that’s clumsily jammed together.