March 28, 2022

SCREEN | Locking Down 'The Bubble' on Netflix

"I turn sh*t into gold."
Iris Apatow Judd Apatow | The Bubble Netflix
Apatow Productions
Comedian Judd Apatow satirizes Hollywood's pandemic response—directly inspired by the latest Jurassic World sequel's troubled COVID–19 production—in his latest comedy, The Bubble. Set against the fictional blockbuster film series "Cliff Beasts", a thinly-veiled stand-in for the aforementioned dinosaur action franchise, Apatow uses self-isolation mandates and safety protocols to skewer show business' rush back into production.

Starring Karen Gillan, Pedro Pascal, Fred Armisen, and Keegan-Michael Key, and many other famous faces, the star-studded cast of the sixth franchise entry, subtitled "The Battle for Everest: Memories of the Requiem", within the movie is forced to isolate together and follow strict measures in order to continue filming. Apatow's comedy follows their exploits on and off set in London and how they deal with the insanity of trying not to get sick or infected during on-location production during the height of lockdowns while maintaining their "bubble" together to mine some quickly dated humour from the recent past.

There's some clever jokes about constant shutdowns, out-of-touch celebrity behaviour, and the isolating nature restrictions and few locations. Still, at over two hours in length, featuring a few too many redundant characters, and tons of random cameos, the film has a strangely comforting yet very meandering quality to the mess of Hollywood in-jokes. The Bubble serves as an amusing time capsule of mid-pandemic hysteria before vaccines and when we thought frequent testing, isolating, and bubbles were enough to keep us safe and working.

Apatow turns The Bubble into an occasionally oddly therapeutic studio comedy about making a big-budget film during the thick of lockdown. It's a circular spoof of itself with barely enough amusement but not nearly enough teeth to its satire. It never commits or goes full-on ridiculous like Tropic Thunder and is almost not realistic enough in its so-called wild antics on set.

The Bubble is available to stream on Netflix starting April 1st.


More | Indiewire / Inverse / Polygon

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