An overlong, unfunny, laborious slog
Bigbug is a 20 minute Love, Death & Robots scenario stretched out to nearly 2 hours. There’s a laborious, painful tone to all of this, rehashing the same jokes repeatedly and with some pretty poor satire and commentary along the way.
That’s a shame because Bigbug has a really vibrant colour palette, complete with neon colours that mesh well with the wacky direction and design of the androids. Unfortunately, everything else here just falls flat. Like the blended mishmash of ingredients that the androids blend up at the end, Bigbug is going to be an acquired taste and the outcome is unlikely to satisfy the masses.
The plot is pretty straight forward and riffs on ideas of quarantine, what it means to be human, an android uprising and satirical jokes about entertainment. Unfortunately, Bigbug is neither funny nor particularly clever.
So what is Bigbug actually about? Set in 2045, this imagined future sees artificial intelligence has fully taken over. Humanity relies on it to satisfy every need.
In a quiet residential area, Alice and her boyfriend Max settle in to spend the day together with Alice’s son Leo. Soon though, her ex-husband Victor, his partner Jennifer and the former couple’s daughter Nina show up and cause havoc.
If that wasn’t enough, Alice’s neighbour Francoise appears too, desperate to find her pet dog Tobey. With the four domestic robots watching on, a larger threat of a robot uprising outside sees them take drastic measures, locking their masters inside until everything calms down.
While the premise sets everything up nicely, any promise is quickly squashed by the questionable choices these humans make. At times, these are ludicrous and ridiculous, losing sight of what could have been a really interesting and amusing commentary in exchange for an awkward sex joke or an overlong satirical gag.
I’m not sure if it was intentional or not but some of the acting here is pretty wooden and stiff, although a far less critical reviewer could claim this was intentional, highlighting the differences (or not) between man and machine.
Bigbug does have some nice ideas though, and an advertising drone pushing out products to try and solve the family’s problems is arguably one of the best jokes in the whole project. Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, there’s an abundance of sex gags and lovemaking in here that just doesn’t work. It becomes repetitive quickly and at nearly 2 hours, this film outstays its welcome long before the final credits.
Those who have enjoyed Jeunet’s previous work may be enamored by this effort, and the colourful palette and satirical ideas may hit just the right chord with some people. Unfortunately, the gorgeous visuals aren’t enough to paper over the overlong run-time, poorly developed characters (that really aren’t that likable) and a bare-bones story that has very little to actually say. This one’s a dud.
Verdict - 3/10