Entertainment

The Bubble is a toe-curling new low in the pantheon of celebrity pandemic projects

Judd Apatow’s new comedy is absolutely awful. It’s unbearable. Unexplained bubble. subscription bubble. Could it be the worst new movie released so far in 2022? It’s certainly a bubble of argument. That it was created by the writer and director of Funny People is simply incomprehensible. Some of the jokes here are so bad that they may be subject to legal action or even prosecution and will cause the toes on the feet of the previously unembarrassed bubble to curl up. There are now scenes burned into my memory by the sheer force of murderous unhappiness that I fear may prove indelible.

The titular bubble is a gated community of movie stars who gathered at a mansion in England in the early days of the pandemic to film the latest installment in a lucrative studio franchise. Its name is Cliff Beasts 6 and it’s a Jurassic World-style monster film – presumably since Jurassic World: Dominion was one of the first blockbusters to resume production in the UK during the initial restrictions in 2020.

Unfortunately, this intentionally mindless movie-within-a-movie looks and acts almost nothing like a modern-day franchise: rather, it’s the kind of mid-budget, Reign of Fire-like fantasy that Hollywood has lost all interest in about 20 years from now has in mind, giving it zero satirical value. And while The Bubble’s characters might be a little more timely, that doesn’t make them any funnier. Pedro Pascal plays an oddly petty Joaquin Phoenix who shuffles around in dark glasses and a robe and mutters about his Oscar, while David Duchovny is a sandpapery Brad Pitt guy who’s made to look wrinkled and rugged.

Karen Gillan, on the other hand, is the defector who sat out Cliff Beasts 5 only to embarrassedly return for the sequel. The passion project into which she fled in between – an Israeli-Palestinian conflict drama with science fiction elements – again bears no resemblance to what Hollywood could actually do, so that the parody remains painfully shallow.

Keegan-Michael Key, Guz Khan and Apatow’s wife Leslie Mann complete the adult members of the troupe, while Apatow and Mann’s younger daughter Iris Apatow plays a teenage TikTok star recruited to bring some Gen-Z appeal to Cliff Beasts. The enforced isolation and Byzantine rules drive anyone crazy, but the various crises that result are filmed and performed with all the flair of a furniture store commercial and are invariably terrifyingly devoid of fun. It’s hard to recall an ensemble cast with less comedic spark, while the various supporting actors that make up the film crew and hotel staff look like they were cast via some sort of raffle.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/bubble-review-toe-curling-new-low-pantheon-celebrity-pandemic/ The Bubble is a toe-curling new low in the pantheon of celebrity pandemic projects

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