This one was fascinating, to say the least. However, not in the sense that one might think. The fact of the matter is that the formula for an awesome movie is here, as it includes an all-star comedy cast, is written and directed by Judd Apatow, co-written by Pam Brady (who does a lot of 'South Park' material) and wants to take a stab at tackling a comedic angle to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While on paper, that all sounds pretty good and edgy at this point in time (although understandably too soon for many, I'm sure), the final result isn't nearly as good as it could have been. It's an odd one to watch, following 'The King of Staten Island', which was really quite well done (I gave it a 5/5, anyway). Somehow or another, Apatow gave us something a little more parallel to a "Movie" movie ('Epic Movie', 'Disaster Movie', 'Superhero Movie', etc.) That's not to say the film isn't without a few good laughs, but we all know Apatow can do better.
The film itself features the cast of a bad monster movie sequel, 'Cliff Beasts 6: Battle for Everest: Memories of a Requiem' (not a typo), as they are quarantined in a hotel to make the film during the Covid-19 pandemic. The apparent idea is to get across, in a humorous way, what actors "might" have to go through while shooting a movie during these hard times (that we're still not all the way out of yet, so again, "too soon" is far too understandable). The film looks at it from an extreme, and in so many ways it should be hilarious, but so much of the comedy seems to fall flat here.
The main focus is on actress Carol Cobb (Karen Gillan), who is using the film as an opportunity to get back on top, following a disastrous role that almost ruined her career. While on set, she meets back up with the rest of the franchise cast, and some see Carol as a "walk-out" since she wasn't in 'Cliff Beasts 5'. Anyway, the project all starts with a Covid test, and a two-week quarantine before ANY filming takes place. That alone just about drives the cast insane, but be it quarantine or working together on set, the real question becomes "who will snap first?"
In mentioning an all-star cast here, I feel it only appropriate to give it a role call. Among the acting crew, we have Dustin Mulray (David Duchovny), Howie Frangopolous (Guz Khan) and Sean Knox (Keegan-Michael Key), who welcome Carol back with open arms. However, Lauren Van Chance (Leslie Mann) remains the only one still miffed about her leaving. The film also brings newcomers Dieter Bravo (Pedro Pascal) and TikTok sensation, Krystal Kris (Iris Apatow), who befriends the film's stunt coordinator's daughter, Carla (Galen Hopper); a random goth, and probably my favourite character here.
Just to continue the string, the crew starts with cheese-ball director Darren Eigan (Fred Armisen), whose vision is constantly clashing with the actors (namely Dustin). Outside of the set, the studio head, Carla (Kate McKinnon) controls things like the Emperor, and the Bubble also communicates with the studio chairman, Tom (John Lithgow), executive chairman, Li (Austin Ku) and last but not least, Carla's Dad, Steve (John Cena)... oh, and Beck. Beck is here too. Anyway, now that I've written two paragraphs of filler, perhaps I should just wrap it up.
I will say this about the film. Despite it being quite honestly pretty bad, and (once again) understandably not very well-timed in the grand scheme of things, it does have the potential to become a guilty pleasure of sorts for yours truly. I mean, it's not entirely without laughs, and the idea of it is stupid humour surrounding an otherwise serious issue. While the film was a let-down, it's also not something I feel like I can just toss aside because it's so fascinatingly bad despite everything surrounding it. If you're willing to throw your brain out the window for just over two hours (by the way, it's also far too long for what it is) it can be entertaining in the wrong ways. But make no mistake with my perspective - it's still bad, and not everyone is gonna feel the same way.