"Bad Trip" stars Eric Andre, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish, and Michaela Conlin. Released on Netflix on March 26, 2021, the film has two friends going on a road trip to New York City.
The film was directed by Kitao Sakurai, who is mainly known for producing several episodes of "The Eric Andre Show". Road trips can be fun and all, but they can also be quite rough when things don't go as planned. According to one of the laws in road trip films, anything that can go wrong during these trips will go wrong. Unsurprisingly, this film is no exception. This was another film from 2020 that was pulled from the schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that was the least of its problems. The film was accidentally released digitally on Amazon Prime Video for a while until it was removed. Of course, someone had to download the movie and leaked it onto the internet as soon as it was available. Curse those online pirates. Fortunately, the film was able to find new life when its original distributor, Orion Pictures, sold the distribution rights to Netflix. So I guess you can say that its trip to its release was far from bad. Now that it's here for us to watch at home, is this trip fun enough for its viewers to add to their watch list?
The film centers on two best friends, Chris Carey (Andre) and Bud Malone (Howery). After discovering Chris's high school crush Maria (Conlin), they decided to take a road trip to New York so Chris can declare his love for her. They get caught up in some unusual predicaments during their journey while being chased by Bud's criminal sister Trina (Haddish) due to them stealing her car for the trip. The story combines the stunts and pranks performed by the actors with a loose narrative, a similar structure used for other hidden camera films like "Borat" and "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa". So if you enjoy watching people hurt or embarrass themselves in front of a bunch of unsuspecting people, "Bad Trip" is the film for you. However, if you're expecting it to have an award-worthy story about friendship to go along with Eric Andre's distasteful gags, you might want to look elsewhere. The narrative was unsurprisingly generic as it was just two guys going from point A to point B and pulling off some ridiculous pranks along the way. There were also a couple of moments that lacked a proper balance between seriousness and silliness. Those were a bit hard for me to take seriously when most of them were just pranks. I also had a minor issue with the film's sound mixing, which was inconsistent at times. I could hear the main cast just fine, but not the actual people. The film does have subtitles so that the viewers can understand what the reactors are saying, but they're not always reliable. Despite its flaws, the film delivered what the concept suggested: a road trip filled with real pranks, real people, and real hilarity. Not only was it highly hilarious from start to finish, but it also had a suitable amount of charm in its cast. Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery were both very entertaining as Chris and Bud, respectively, when it comes to their chemistry. I've only seen Andre in supporting roles, so I guess this film was my first experience seeing him in the leading role. Based on what I saw, I believe he has what it takes to star in more roles like this in the future. I also have to give major props to Tiffany Haddish for going all out as Trina. That woman knows how to make these types of characters both energetic and aggressive. As for the pranks themselves, they're what you expect in terms of the film's R rating: shocking, dirty, offensive, and highly amusing. What made the humor in these pranks work for me was the shock value, particularly from the people witnessing them. It's those situations that you never expect to happen in real life but wound up happening anyway. It's those situations that I couldn't help but laugh at because of how idiotic and messed up they were, which is all thanks to its likable cast and Kitao Sakurai's direction.
Overall, with all of the crazy shenanigans that it carried in its trunk, "Bad Trip" is anything but bad. It's a raunchy and hilarious road trip that overshadows its flawed story with Eric Andre's brand of humor. With its entertaining cast, Sakurai's direction, and its well-executed comedy, the film is a suitable addition to the hidden camera prank library and a good experience for people to take their minds off of the harshness of reality. Trust me. You might need it if you're having a rough day. For those who enjoy prank shows and movies, this is one trip that they will not mind taking.