If you base your decision of whether to see Brigsby Bear on the fact that it's an "SNL movie," please let me dispel you of that notion. Although it's produced by the Lonely Island dudes and stars current cast member Kyle Mooney, it is not an SNL movie.
What it is, then, is a more difficult question. We meet James Pope (Mooney), superfan of a show called Brigsby Bear Adventures, which is like if you mixed Buck Rogers with a first-gen Teddy Ruxpin doll. James lives in an underground fallout bunker in the desert with his mother April (Jane Adams) and father Ted (Mark Hamill).
In this post-apocalyptic world where the air is poisonous, and going outside requires a gas mask, Brigsby is the only thing James has. Only it isn't, because as it turns out, April and Ted kidnapped James when he was an infant and the bunker and Brigsby were merely tools to distract him from his imprisonment. So when James learns there is no such thing as Brigsby—aside from those episodes produced by Ted, now in prison —he sets out to finish the story.
Brigsby Bear is whimsical, sweet and ambitious. Is it funny? Sort of. There are more chuckles than laughs. Particularly humorous are Greg Kinnear as James' rescuer, Detective Vogel, who missed his calling as a thespian, and Hamill, who in addition to playing James' "father," gets to flex his considerable voice talents as the characters in the show within the movie, Brigsby himself and Brigsby's nemesis Sun Snatcher (Son Snatcher?).
Brigsby Bear is not a film for most people, but if you suspect it might be for you, I encourage you to go and find out.
CRITIC'S RATING: 3/4 stars
Brigsby Bear is at Fox Tower, Century 16 Eastport. Rated PG-13.