The Bubble : Comedy film about actors trying to make a dinosaur movie

Carol, who skipped “Cliff Beasts 5” and stretched herself by playing a half-Israeli, half-Palestinian space-alien fighter, is being edged out as the series’ youth appeal by a TikTok sensation (Iris Apatow). Their fellow stars and bubble occupants include Keegan-Michael Key as an actor trying to build a lifestyle brand, Leslie Mann and David Duchovny as ex-spouses who can’t keep their hands off each other and Pedro Pascal as a drugged-out playboy with designs on a hotel employee (an underused Maria Bakalova, from the “Borat” sequel).

“The safest place in the world right now is a film set,” an agent (Rob Delaney) tells his actress client Carol (Karen Gillan) to encourage her to join the quarantined production of “Cliff Beasts 6.” “The Bubble,” a new comedy from Judd Apatow, tells the story of how the stars of this apparently long-running dinosaur franchise spent their pandemic while doubling as a sort of documentary about how Apatow, who wrote the screenplay with Pam Brady, spent his.

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Ask those real-life actors (and these characters) to work together under strict Covid protocols, and it would be hard not to get some laughs. Gillan’s escalating exasperation is especially funny.

But elements that have the potential to become running gags — the prospect of forced re-isolation when a crew member tests positive, a rash not of Covid but of the flu, a mysterious security chief (Ross Lee) who uses violence to prevent escapes — either languish or are dropped, as if Apatow simply cut together what he felt were inspired improvisations without regard for flow (or the uncharacteristically cheap-looking visuals). And the Hollywood satire, with Fred Armisen as the Home Depot employee turned Sundance darling hired to direct “Cliff Beasts 6,” is not just safe. It’s airless.

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