Netflix’s ‘The Bubble’ – A Short Review

The Bubble‘ premiered on Netflix on 9 April 2022. The R-rated comedy is directed by Judd Apatow and has a run time of 2 hours and 6 minutes.

Plot

The cast and crew of ‘Cliff Beasts 6‘ are held up in a bubble in a luxurious hotel, billed as one of the few movie productions to begin shooting amidst a worldwide pandemic. They must remain there for the duration of the shoot, which will last three months. Inside the pandemic bubble, they must adhere to tight restrictions and standards in order to film safely.

This involves doing frequent COVID tests, maintaining social distance, and isolating themselves in their rooms when they are sick. When the cast and crew begin to feel unwell, the shoot’s duration is extended, much to the displeasure of the entire group. Attempting to flee, the actors undertake several ill-fated escape attempts from their filming location.

Characters and Storyline

As a comedy film intended to bring out laughs and a lighter side of the pandemic, some of the comedic exchanges and scenes depicted rely on the audience’s knowledge of other films and previously played roles by the actors. As a film set within a film, there are many repetitive scenes involving filming, which visibly annoys the cast members playing the characters of ‘Cliff Beast 6‘.

This may be intended by the director Judd Apatow to portray the frustration and monotonous lifestyle during the lockdown. Each character adds a comedic spin on their personal challenges and issues with the script and the shooting. Also, on-screen are comedic montages of life in quarantine, difficult video calls, well-choreographed tik-tok dance routines, and witty dialogue by the supporting cast of Vir Das and Samson Kayo.

Karen Gillian plays Carol Cobb, an actress dealing with personal issues while striving to adapt the film script and the production’s constant changes. Audiences will connect with her line delivery and frequent bursts of frustration throughout this assignment in her professional career.

Dustin Mulray, played by David Duchovny, takes a comical step towards representing a theme of a father attempting to re-establish their bond with their child and his on and off love interest Lauren Van Chance, played by Leslie Mann.

Dieter Bravo, played by Pedro Pascal, is the newest cast member – Gio in the Cliff Beast Series. He plays a washed-up actor battling addiction and is trying to win Anika’s heart. With minimum dialogue, his interactions are predictable yet delivered humorously.

Comedian and actor Keegan-Michael Key plays Sean Knox, who in the film installments portrays Colt Rockwell. He contributes to the film’s laughter and has a slow and transforming plot arc in which he battles his inner crisis and pilots the helicopter.

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Spoiler Talk:

Our spoiler and hidden details are been kept to a minimum so that the overall plot of the film is not ruined for audiences. However, yes, there are a few spoilers mentioned.

At the start of the film, Anika (Maria Bakalova), the hotel receptionist, refuses sexual advances from Dieter (Pedro Pascal) until he meets her father and “signs a lifelong agreement” with her. This is a nod to ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ (2020)where Maria Bakalova played ‘Tutar’, a young teenager whose lifestyle is dictated by her father, who looks to give her away in marriage.

A drugs and drinks table scene is reflective of a classic scene from the hit sitcom ‘That 70s Show,’ in which ‘Eric’ and his teenage friends smoke pot around a table. A snippet of this scene may be seen in the trailer during a discussion about actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

In a sequence reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film ‘Pulp Fiction,’ the cast members jab (Dieter) Pedro Pascal with an injection needle in an attempt to revive him.

Peacemaker star John Cena makes an appearance as Steve, the stunt coordinator for the film. Daisy Ridley (‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’) plays an AI system, and Grammy-winning musician Beck cameos as himself with a performance to lift the spirits of the members on set. James McAvoy appears as himself as he chases down Carol (Karen Gillian).

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Did You Know:

In real life, Karen Gillian kept trolling fans revealing the project as ‘Cliff Beasts 6′ on her official Instagram. This indulged fans in trying to figure out the storylines of the first five films. She did later reveal via Instagram saying “OK OK…time to come clean. ‘Cliff Beasts 6‘ was an (early) April Fools Day prank. HOWEVER…we did make a real movie called THE BUBBLE”. She went on to speak about the movie saying, “The Bubble is a movie about some actors trying to make a movie (and failing) during the pandemic”.

Actress Leslie Mann is proficient at rollerblading, she has been skating with her family for years. She has also shared videos of the same on the social media platform Instagram. As seen in the trailer, the film incorporates a montage of her skills on display. This is one of the few films she has worked on with her husband Judd Apatow and daughter Iris.

The movie has an ensemble cast that features the likes of Karen Gillian (‘Oculus’), David Duchovny (‘X Files’), Keegan-Michael Key (‘Key & Peele’), Leslie Mann (‘Blockers’), and her daughter Iris Apatow, Kate McKinnon (‘Ghostbusters‘), Pedro Pascal (‘Narcos‘), Peter Serafinowicz (‘Sing’), Maria Valcheva Bakalova (‘Borat Subsequent Movie film‘) and comedians Guz Khan, Vir Das, and Fred Armisen.

‘The Bubble’ is a slow-paced comedy-drama filled with constant gags and stretched-out themes of the pandemic life. The cast and the cameo appearances make this film a fun watch. Unless the producers decide to turn the Cliff Beast series into an actual movie series, it is a cringe-worthy yet entertaining one-time watch.  

Watch ‘The Bubble’ On Netflix: HERE

 

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