TL;DR – While the central conceit is good, and the cast is there for it, unfortunately, the concept runs out of steam about halfway through
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this film.
The Bubble Review –
I don’t think it is a surprise that the pandemic has sucked, impacting every industry, including motion pictures. We have seen films like Spider-Man, where it is clearly filmed in social distancing but were still written beforehand. However, now we are starting to see films that were both written and produced during COVID, and it is going to be interesting to see how it all pans out.
So to set the scene, in the era of big-budget franchises, one of the somewhat more successful runs was that of Cliff Beasts staring Sean Knox (Keegan-Michael Key), Carol Cobb (Karen Gillan), Lauren Van Chance (Leslie Mann), Dustin Mulray (David Duchovny), and Howie Frangopolous (Guz Khan). Having several successful sequels like Cliff Beasts Re-Extinction, Cliff Beasts Oceana, Cliff Beasts Beijing Beast, and Cliff Beasts Space Fury, the team have come back together to film Cliff Beasts 6. Unfortunately, this occurred during the COVID pandemic, which this documentary explores. How does a film get made in the age of a bubble?
For a film that many people assumed was an early April Fools Day Joke when it was first released, it is actually working on multiple levels. The first is it is a film in its own right, filmed in challenging circumstances. The next level is the meta-commentary of the film industry and its need to smash out half-baked sequels while also being a story about how difficult it is to create a movie, especially in the current times. Then it is also a documentary about how difficult it is to make a film while being a film that was also difficult to film. If you now have a headache thinking through the ramifications, you are sort of getting this film.
While I respect it for trying to work on multiple levels and exploring some interesting themes, unfortunately, there is just not enough material in the idea to pull off the film as a whole. For a movie that is a bit over two hours, there is only about one hour of interesting content and commentary here that actually works. In many respects, by focusing the film on the actors, who the very film reminds you are the least sympathetic factors in the industry, you miss the genuine issues of the production staff and what they are going through. Without that sympathetic connection, you only have so much that you can care about the predicament of people getting paid millions, both theoretically and literally. However, the film does posit that no one will sleep with Pedro Pascal, which might be the most unrealistic aspect of the entire endeavour.
Now, while there is not enough material to get through the runtime, it is entertaining when the film hits its highs. To begin with, the cast is clearly here for anything that happens, and the fact that they are throwing themselves into this film helps smooth over a lot of the rough edges. It also does have some interesting thoughts to say about the film industry as a whole. Indeed, some of the film’s best moments are when they recreate TikTok videos. It also helps that we are primarily focused through the lens of Karen Gillan, which helps give the film the structure it needs.
In the end, do we recommend The Bubble? Look, no sorry. There is a good idea here, and everyone is throwing their hearts in. However, there is just not enough story to make the work for its whole runtime, even if it may stick the landing. If you liked The Bubble, we would recommend to you Irresistible.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you watched The Bubble?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Bubble
Directed by – Judd Apatow
Written by – Judd Apatow & Pam Brady
Music by – Andrew Bird
Cinematography by – Ben Smithard
Edited by – Dan Schalk & James Thomas
Production/Distribution Companies – Apatow Productions & Netflix
Starring – Karen Gillan, Iris Apatow, Pedro Pascal, Leslie Mann, Fred Armisen, David Duchovny, Keegan-Michael Key, Kate McKinnon, Guz Khan, Peter Serafinowicz, Maria Bamford, Vir Das, Maria Bakalova, Rob Delaney, Galen Hopper, Samson Kayo, Nick Kocher, Ross Lee, Harry Trevaldwyn, Danielle Vitalis, Ben Ashenden, Alexander Owen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Donna Air, Beck, John Lithgow, Daisy Ridley, John Cena & James McAvoy
Rating – Australia: MA15+;