Arguably the biggest movie release to hit Netflix for the month of April is The Bubble, a new original comedy from director Judd Apatow. While critics have slated it, I actually found it pretty funny and wondered why they have been so harsh.
Warning: minor spoilers for The Bubble on Netflix
Here's the premise: a group of Hollywood stars bubble together to make a franchise blockbuster sequel – Cliff Beasts 6: Battle for Everest: Memories of a Requiem – in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. What could go wrong? Starring the likes of Karen Gillan, Pedro Pascal, Leslie Mann, Keegan-Michael Key, David Duchovny, Peter Serafinowicz, and Maria Balalova (hot off the heals of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), it's got one hell of an ensemble cast.
That's not even mentioning the wonderful cameos that appear throughout, and there are many to speak of. While I don't want to spoil the majority of them, I have to give a shout out to James McAvoy. The X-Men actor (though he's known for more as he professes) provided one of the biggest laughs, stumbling upon Carol Cobb (Gillan) trying to escape the premises only to turn into a mad man and hunt her down constantly shouting: "Why are you running!". It was exactly the oddball humour I was after.
Best known for The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Trainwreck, Apatow has been pretty hit or miss over the last two decades but The Bubble definitely hit for me. Is it an Oscar contender? No, of course not. Is it an easy comfort watch that will give you a few good laughs? Yes, I'd say so. That's why I'm surprised to see that critics have crucified the comedy.
Right now, The Bubble sits at a measly 23% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That feels quite unfair considering it's a movie that was made in lockdown about making a movie in lockdown. Inspired by the shooting of Jurassic World Dominion, the original premise alone won me over. A lot of the purposely bad and over the top CGI used to make up for the fact that the actors were just running on a treadmill results in some humorous visuals while reminding us of the overabundance of the technology.
Pedro Pascal as Dieter Bravo, a veteran movie actor that suffers from a sex and drug addiction, also gets to have lots of fun in the role. There's one particular scene with another instantly recognisable Star Wars name that will undoubtedly have audiences talking. What's more, Keegan-Michael Key and British comedian Guz Khan get a good number of one-liners that offer a good few chuckles. An impromptu yoga session that sees Khan leap out of the grounds or Michael-Key suddenly doing backflips to get a medical kit while high on cocaine were two stand out moments that came to mind.
Harry Trevaldwyn, equally, is one to watch as the awkward safety officer that forgets to send off all of the COVID tests. The casting of TikTok influencer Krystal Kris (Iris Apatow) in Cliff Beasts 6 felt very contemporary and something you would see in promotion for a major motion picture. Not to mention, I liked the ending. It felt appropriate to the storyline. Comedy is hard. Sticking the landing is hard. Both of these worked for me.
Was it a bit too crude at times? Yes. Is it something that I'll likely rewatch again? No. Did I enjoy myself? Hell yes. Overall, there's a lot worse out there and during these uncertain times, surely more comedy is never a bad thing.
The Bubble stars Karen Gillan, Pedro Pascal, Leslie Mann, Iris Apatow, Fred Armisen, David Duchovny, Kate McKinnon, Fred Armisen, Peter Serafinowicz and is now available to stream across Netflix.
If you are looking for more films, make sure to check out the top new movies to watch on Netflix for April – including, the enthralling Boiling Point.