The Bubble, Judd Apatow’s latest effort, is overstuffed with silly jokes that make for a tedious watch, even if it just sticks the landing by the end.
Legendary comedy director Judd Apatow has made comedy classics that have shaped the 21st century. With movies such as Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, it’s hard to think that such a force would be able to miss the mark as much as he did in this pandemic-inspired comedy. The Bubble revolves around a film crew who is attempting to complete a movie in the heat of the pandemic. From the most basic explanation of the plot, it is very apparent that this film would be extremely satirical, but at this point in history, I’m not sure if audiences are ready for a satire of this kind.
The Bubble’s main fault is how silly the movie feels throughout its run time. There are consistent, nonstop jokes shared throughout its over two-hour run time. While around half of the jokes are funny and make you at the very least giggle, the same type of cheap laugh comedy becomes very tedious very fast. There is fun to be had throughout the film, but since it’s just gag after gag, there is no substance behind any of the scenes which makes it a pretty forgettable watch.
Since the plot does revolve around a film crew, there is a pretty extensive cast, and a talented cast at that. From comedy icons Leslie Mann and Keegan-Michael Key to a surprisingly hilarious Pedro Pascal, there really is no lack of comedic talent, and if this movie wasn’t trying to squeeze every last joke out of every single character, there could have been a truly stellar ensemble piece somewhere inside The Bubble. Instead, there is almost zero character development let alone any time for any of these characters to breathe, which makes keeping on top of almost 15 different protagonists, very exhausting. With that being said, there are a few highlights throughout the film whose scenes were the highlight of the film. As stated earlier, Pedro Pascal lets his comedic side shine in this, but is accompanied by an always funny Kate McKinnon whose small amount of screen time is some of the best in the whole movie.
Since The Bubble is a pandemic comedy at its core, instead of making light of its crappy situation, it highlights what was the worst part of the pandemic for most of us, feeling too contained and repetitive. Because of this, the tedious watch is almost too much to bear until the last act, when it moves to become more than a one-location comedy. The ending is what gets the most laughs and the self-aware satire approach is pulled off in a more creative and fun way. Towards the end of the movie, one of the characters says that if the end of the movie is strong, no one else will remember all the bad parts in the beginning and leave the movie on a positive note. Unfortunately, in The Bubble’s case, it doesn’t quite work out that way. This seemed like such a fun movie to make, but it would have been so much better if that fun didn’t come at the expense of the people who will watch it.
The Bubble is now available to watch on Netflix.
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