Brigsby Bear is one of The Most Heart-Warming & Feel-Good Movies about Kidnapping Ever Made (Review)

by | Aug 14, 2017

From Sony Pictures Classics and director Dave McCary, comes the dark comedy drama Brigsby Bear. Produced by The Lonely Island and Phil Lord/Christopher Miller, the film stars Kyle Mooney, Mark Hamill, Greg Kinnear, Matt Walsh, Claire Danes, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and Ryan Simpkins, the film is now playing in select cinemas.


The show “Brigsby Bear Adventures” is a children’s television program produced for an audience of one: James Pope. When the series abruptly ends, Pope’s life changes forever as he sets out to finish the storyline himself. To do that, he must learn how to cope with the realities of a new world that he knows nothing about.

I was not…. expecting that… But in a good way. Brigsby Bear is not your typical comedy. Not even close. It is however, in spite of its extremely dark and disturbing concept, one of the most feel-good films of 2017 – maybe ever. After being abducted as a baby, James – played by Saturday Night Live castmember Kyle Mooney, is raised in an underground bunker by Mark Hamill and spends his days watching and analysing a series of children’s show episodes about Brigsby Bear. James’ room is littered with Brigsby Bear stuff – and it’s all he wants to talk about. As far as he knows, the outside world is toxic and dangerous, until all of that changes and he finally ventures unwillingly into the outside world to learn the truth.


It’s a fucked up premise. It really is. James loved his parents – or who he thought his parents were, because even though he was abducted by these crazy people, they loved him so much and not once did they hurt him, they actually made him a series of videos for a children’s show that only HE had ever seen. Yes – Brigsby Bear was made, in some creepy ass warehouse to be seen only by a kidnapping victim. So once he’s free – he just wants to see the next tape… Which doesn’t exist – so James sets out on a quest to finish it himself.

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Kyle Mooney is funny on SNL. His digital shorts are hilarious and he’s extremely clever. Kyle Mooney in Brigsby Bear, is worthy of an Oscar nomination. He’s so lovable, so kind and has this child-like innocence to him that I just felt so bad for everything he had to adjust to on the fly in order to fit in. As hard as it is for this young man to adapt to a world he doesn’t know, he dives in and really makes the best of a terrible situation. He’s such a nice, caring individual and he’s so honest – that eventually he makes friends and the best out of a situation that would otherwise turn him into a side-show act. Everyone – look at the weird vault-boy who just re-united with his real family after decades of being held hostage underground. James just wants to watch movies and eventually — make them himself. It’s a beautiful healing process for this guy, who didn’t know any better. He takes the one thing that should haunt him forever after finding out the truth and instead uses it to his advantage and thrives in this huge new world.

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Brigsby Bear is more emotionally moving than it is funny, and although there are laughs, this isn’t the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, it’s more along the lines of Little Miss Sunshine. The film was truly a healing experience and really makes you think about holding grudges and hate — and how those emotions just aren’t worth it in the end. Kyle Mooney’s performance in this super-bizarre and quirky drama is one that I’ll always remember. Making the best out of a devastating situation and utilising a strange kids show as the vehicle to do that is unique and fascinating. It’s also dope as shit.

Rating: [star rating=”4.5″]