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  • Writer's pictureGareth Bradwick

The Bubble ★★

Judd Apatow

Starring Karen Gillan, Pedro Pascal, Keegan-Michael Key, Iris Apatow, Fred Armisen

A host of well known names and fresh comedy acts star in this Judd Apatow directed, self-aware comedy about a group of actors trying to film a blockbuster sequel under quarantine restrictions at a posh hotel.

There has been a notable lack of pandemic based comedies over the last two years. It’s understandable given how long we have faced restrictions; how much comedy can be gleaned from a situation that we got tired and bored of around two weeks after it started?

The Bubble is proof that pandemic jokes just aren’t that funny. In between the mask wearing and guys walking around shoving sticks up people’s noses, there are montages of two week quarantines that try to be observational but come across as matter-of-fact to the majority (no, literally ALL) of us who have lived through it. Other comedies such as Curb your Enthusiasm have dealt with the pandemic a lot better by barely mentioning it at all.

Aside from the pandemic stuff, there is also a send-up of the movie world. This is where things find its feet a little more with humorous set pieces and a French & Saunders style turn from The Pin duo as MOCAP dinosaurs which were the highlights in all of this.

Other than though, the director of The 40 Year Old Virgin and producer of greats like Anchorman, leans on the usual improvisational style that found him success. I’m finding that comedy style especially tired these days, coming across as lazy rather than inspired.

The biggest letdown of this film is the premise itself. Remove the pandemic and keep the tired actors making a sequel and there is some fun to be had. Under the cloud of covid restrictions though, this feels two years passed its use-by date already.

The Bubble available now on Netflix

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