THe Bubble
The Bubble
  • Netflix Release Date: April 1, 2022
  • Director: Judd Apatow
  • Star: Karen Gillan, Iris Apatow, Fred Armisen, Maria Bakalova, David Duchovny, Keegan-Michael Key, Leslie Mann, Pedro Pascal, Peter Serafinowicz, Vir Das, Rob Delaney

The Bubble Trailer



Judd Apatow’s latest film, the COVID-era comedy The Bubble, already feels like a time capsule of a hyper-specific moment in pandemic life, despite its relatively short running time. A long-running action franchise’s cast is forced to exist in a “bubble” on set in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure. The film chronicles the flaws inherent in producing a piece of Hollywood fluff while a global pandemic is still raging. But The Bubble contributes to the very phenomenon it is supposed to be criticizing and is as vacuous and unnecessary as the latest flying dinosaur franchise installment it depicts in its own right.

Instead of being a low-stakes ensemble comedy, what should have been a laborious bore due to its excessive length and lack of necessary humor to sustain its meandering runtime is a laborious bore. With Apatow’s long-standing tendency toward nepotism wreaking havoc on the production, a high-profile cast brimming with comedic talent is overshadowed by the director’s own flesh and blood. Following a brief hiatus from the Cliff Beasts film franchise during the fifth installment, actress Carol Cobb (Karen Gillan) is enticed back into the franchise for the sixth installment, where she is promised to be “pampered” during her mandatory 14-day quarantine prior to entering the on-set “bubble” that is supposedly impervious to the pandemic. She rejoins the ranks of the cast members she had “abandoned” when she emerges from her state of seclusion.

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In addition to its many flaws, the Bubble has a number of other issues that combine to form a whole that is somehow worse than the sum of its parts. It is somewhat amusing to watch the CGI-generated segments of Cliff Beasts 6 that are interspersed throughout the film, but it is truly perplexing as to why Apatow felt the need to include these fully-realized snippets of the film at all. However, despite the film’s attempts to highlight the inconsequential nature of “rich people’s problems,” it isn’t incisive or clever enough to parody the very cinematic sensation that it is unintentionally playing into.