Judd Apatow has directed many memorable films; however, his latest, the Bubble, looks like it can be memorable for all the wrong reasons. The Netflix film was released on April 1 and has since received negative reviews from critics. It currently sits at 23% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film is a meta-comedy about a group of actors and actresses stuck in a pandemic bubble in a hotel attempting to complete a studio franchise film and features an ensemble cast that includes Karen Gillan, Iris Apatow, Fred Armisen, Maria Bakalova, David Duchovny, Keegan-Michael Key, Leslie Mann, Kate McKinnon, and Pedro Pascal.
The project would have been inspired by the real realization of Jurassic World: Dominion, the sixth installment in the Jurassic franchise, whose cast was stuck in the UK for months during the pandemic lockdown, and production had to stop and restart several times due to positive COVID-19 tests. Find out why this concept wasn’t picked up by critics below.
“Kind of a good bad movie”
Richard Brody of the new yorker mentioned The bubble “is divided against itself. The story and the characters are generic abstractions whose fragile presence calls out to the pro who is at the mercy of the relatively uninspired material.” However, he mentions that “its themes and ideas often feel observed and deeply felt, and occupy a separate plane – there’s the film, and there’s what the film means”, and says that ” the aesthetic falls flat but the personal motive, the emotional core, is genuine, pugnacious, mocking.”
“As a result, it’s a movie better remembered than watched,” Brody continues. “The film itself lacks a central awareness: there is no Apatovian character in the mix, no insider who has managed to walk the tightrope of business and art and who has succeeded in both while feeling it unravel beneath his feet amid the dominance of Marvel and Disney…and Netflix, where the film is playing.”
“The best in its embrace of chance”
Sheila O’Malley from RogerEbert.com was more towards The bubble, giving it “3 stars”, saying it had “its moments where the talented and funny actors have fun with each other, responding to each other’s eccentricities”. She also thinks that “Apatow’s criticism of his own industry’s smugness – ‘we need to get back to work because humanity needs us!’ ” – is also relevant.” O’Malley reiterates that when “these characters are on screen at the same time, it’s legit chaos and a lot of fun”, but that “the whole aspect of filming doesn’t go so well”.
“Suffers from the same issues as most Apatow photos
“The bubble is better at pushing and emphasizing the silliness of big-budget movie production and the innate absurdity of movies like Jurassic World,” said Clint Worthington of Result. He wrote that “this change in approach is refreshing, for a while. Apatow knows how to work with actors, and his airy, improvisational energy works oddly effectively at first, especially given the unconventional cast that he gathered.”
However, Worthington criticizes the film for being “too long and aimless, swimming around its Tinseltown critiques without really nailing down a concrete target for its satire”. He also thinks that “The COVID angle, ostensibly its biggest novelty, is actually the curse of the film: the jokes about masking, distancing, PPE and nasal swabs have all been done to death now, so they lose much of their presumed brilliance.”
According to Ben Kenigsberg of The New York Times, The Bubble has “elements that have the potential to become running gags – the prospect of forced re-isolation when a crew member tests positive, an outbreak not of Covid but of flu, a mysterious security chief ( Ross Lee) who uses violence to prevent escapes – either languish or are abandoned, as if Apatow had simply cut together what he considered inspired improvisations without regard to flow (or unusually cheap visuals).” Kenigsberg also considered Hollywood satire to be “safe” and “airless”.
“Like watching paint dry”
While CNN’s Brian Lowry said the Bubble was a “potentially fun conceit”, none of its potentials “can make this bubble worth entering”. “Apatow offers some clever lines, but they’re mostly lost in the general noise and manic tone, Lowry wrote. “While it’s not necessarily too early for a funny Covid movie, The bubble work to reach a desired level of madness until the end. He also noted that the film “openly states its unassuming mission, which is to provide people with a light distraction in these troubled times.”
“The bubble” arrived late
For Peter Debruge of Varietygot”The bubble released a year earlier, when we were all still relatively isolated and looking for something to make us laugh”, it might have been more effective. certain protocols were,” DeBruge wrote. He called the film Apatow’s Tropic Thunder, with more inside jokes and far less for the general public to recognize or identify with.
“Barely Recognizable as Comedy”
Jessica Kiang from The Los Angeles Times called the “incredibly unfunny” film an “ungodly mess” weighed down by pointless cameos and gross humor. “All of which are necessary to distract from such Hollywood satire of the toothless inside of baseball, from such dumb and outdated pandemic observation and from the pure desert of Saharan humor that is dialogue,” a- she writes.
Kiang added that “the issues run deep, a bit like the cringe. The premise, obviously conceived at the start of the lockdown, already feels so dated that it’s practically prehistoric.”