Brigsby Bear (REVIEW)
By Jacob Chimilar
I had a feeling going in that this film would be very much in the style of Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennet's SNL skits and I was certainly not wrong. It takes a rather silly premise and subplants it onto a story of a man making his way in a world he doesn't understand. It totally works too. If you at all like watching someone trying to come to terms with a new situation but at the same time try to fulfill the one thing people say that he should just leave behind then this film is for you. It's an underdog story of a sweet and loveable guy, James, who just loves the show Brigsby Bear.
It's an interesting look at the idea of a piece of entertainment being so consuming and one that brings so much joy and happiness to a person that they essentially consider it their life's purpose to follow the show. Kyle Mooney is excellent in the film, bringing James to wonderful life. The supporting cast was on the other hand just ok, Mark Hamill and Matt Walsh for instance didn't quite sell it as they often play more larger than life characters to me, so having them have any kind of serious family drama never totally landed.
What I praise the most in the film is creating this wonderful world of "Brigsby Bear" and what goes into the making of the show. It is the most delightful show you could imagine and one I wish there was more of just for the amount of whimsy and shoehorned propaganda and "life lessons" trying to be a kids show. The concept is just so out there with a bear who can teleport and fight monsters in space and yet it feels like one of those weird shows that you could find a tape of in the basement of a public access station.
While the casing is certainly original the inside is a bit more conventional, with a sort of man-child being told he has to grow up and him resisting to follow his heart. It is Kyle Mooney's performance along with the imaginative world of Brigsby Bear that we want to see him enjoy the world that he has known and continue to embrace it in anyway he can.
It's hard to talk about the film without giving too much away. It's really quite clever and sweet and at times touching, I cried a little and it felt very much earned thanks to the time we spend with James and watching him navigate life as best he can and overcome obstacles and do his best to achieve his dreams. Off beat and full of heart, it was a fun watch despite it underlying conventional structure. I think those who enjoy Kyle Mooney's work will find something to love.