Friday, May 27, 2022

‘The Bubble’ Review: A Chaotic Concept Provides Some Much-Needed Laughter

Judd Apatow’s latest film, a comedy about a group of actors and actresses stuck inside a pandemic bubble at a hotel while filming a movie, is due to arrive on Netflix tomorrow. In the two years since COVID-19 changed the world as we know it, some would argue that many areas of entertainment have become oversaturated with reminders of the devastating infectious disease — which is counterproductive for those who use films and television as a form of escapism. But this one right here is an exception. If you still have room on your plate for one last course of pandemic-flavored cuisine, The Bubble is the outrageous, hilarious, and downright entertaining dessert that we all so desperately need for some tearjerking laughter in these trying times.

Boasting a talented cast of heavy-hitters, there’s hardly a dull moment to be found in The Bubble. Cliff Beasts 6: The Battle for Everest, the film within a film directed by a character portrayed by Fred Armisen, is exactly what it sounds like: the latest entry in a terribly baffling, aging franchise about killer dinosaurs. The cast of Cliff Beasts includes characters played by David Duchovny, Leslie Mann, Keegan-Michael Key, Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillan, Iris Apatow, and Guz Khan, a group that’s on fire with an arsenal of quick quips and razor-sharp comedy when they’re together.

For those whose association with Pascal comes from his famed tenure as the mysterious, skilled bounty hunter Din Djarin in the Star Wars series The Mandalorian, prepare yourselves for Dieter Bravo, whom I’ve alternatively dubbed — spoiler alert — “Mando Hits Rock Bottom After Grogu Leaves With the Nice Jedi Guy.” Dieter is messy, he’s chaotic, he’s ridiculous, and he contributes heavily to some of the film’s absolute funniest moments. But in all seriousness, 2022 is clearly the year for Pascal’s official induction into the world of comedy (between this and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent), and it’s a place he should frequent far more often.

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It’s far too easy for films to feel borderline cringeworthy when they inorganically insert plot points to appeal to a younger audience. But don’t let the concept of Cliff Beasts‘ resident TikTok star-turned-actress — Iris Apatow’s Krystal Kris — dissuade you, because she’s brilliant. And rest assured that viewers of The Bubble will reap the benefits of the wildly funny choreographed dance videos that she convinces her co-stars to participate in for her followers.

Vir Das as Ronjon, Maria Bakalova as Anika in The Bubble
Laura Radford/Netflix

It comes as no surprise that the rest of the aforementioned big names in the film are all in fine form, but The Bubble offers up a strong supporting cast who are just as solid with their jokes and comedic line delivery as well. Samson Kayo, Maria Bakalova, and Harry Trevaldwyn were particular standouts throughout as their characters attempted to wrangle the cast in during their stay at the hotel. Viewers will also be excited to learn that the film includes an array of incredible cameos, too … but you’ll just have to watch to find out who!

Coming from a script co-written with Pam Brady, Apatow once again reaffirms his mastery of the comedy genre with The Bubble. If you’re going to test the limits of your pandemic fatigue one last time, this is the film to afford your patience to. For guaranteed laughs and a genuinely fun, entertaining film that hits all the right beats from start to finish, don’t miss The Bubble when it begins streaming exclusively on Netflix on April 1.

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