“The safest place in the world right now is a film set,” one of the cast members, Carol (Karen Gillan), is told by her agent when she balks at participating, having previously irked her co-stars by skipping the last sequel to do an ill-advised project about Jews and Palestinians uniting against aliens.
All the craziness that goes into producing a film gets essentially put on steroids, with the crew receiving warnings about just how strange actors can be, eccentricities heightened by isolating everyone in a confined space.
Obviously, the lack of creativity in sequel-minded Hollywood is ripe for parody, but all the coy asides would probably play better at a film-industry premiere than at home via Netflix. Those inside-baseball gags include a mention of the People’s Choice Awards, an actor convinced he can improve the script, and a studio boss (Kate McKinnon) who issues threats from afar with an insincere smile.
Sharing script credit with Pam Brady, Apatow serves up some clever lines, but they’re mostly lost in the overall noise and manic tone. While it’s not necessarily too soon for a funny Covid movie, “The Bubble” labors to achieve a sought-after level of zaniness right up until the ending.
“I am the painter, and you are the paint,” the predictably stressed-out director, played by Fred Armisen, eventually snaps at his cast.
It’s a nice thought, but as distractions go, this one’s too much like watching paint dry.
“The Bubble” premieres April 1 on Netflix.