Netflix’s commitment to releasing a major-motion picture every single week this year includes a variety of comedy movies, from Yes Day, to Moxie to Thunder Force, but none may be funnier than Bad Trip. Scratch that – this side-splitting hidden camera adventure sets the bar high for all funny films this year, Netflix or otherwise.
American-comedian Eric André – who specialises in surreal humour – is the architect here. He adapts the prank-heavy absurdity of his sketch show The Eric André Show for something in the style of Borat and Bad Grandpa that blends reality with fiction. The story centres on best friends Chris and Bud, respectively played by Andre and Get Out breakthrough star Lil Rel Howery, who embark on a road trip from Florida to New York where Chris can profess his love for his high school crush Maria (Michaela Conlin), who works in NYC as an art gallery curator.
Crossing state lines entails Bud stealing a car from his violent sister Trina (an amusingly aggressive Tiffany Haddish) who escapes from jail and pursues the central duo. These actors – all brilliant at their craft, never breaking from character – are guided by a clearly defined narrative route, including scripted conversations, but their detours are where the hilarity takes place.
From the opening sequence where André is left naked after a car wash vacuum sucks his clothes off, to a horribly funny encounter with a gorilla at the zoo, to an embarrassing drunken episode at a bar, each of the pranks provoke hysterical reactions from stunned onlookers. Be warned – this film is pure cringe comedy. But none of it is mean spirited, as the actors only put themselves at risk and not anybody around them. The result is the funniest movie in a long time, a brilliant successor in the lineage of Jackass and the works of Sacha Baron Cohen.
YouTube in the last decade saw a trend of “it’s just a prank, bro!” content that thankfully seems to have died out, especially since the antics started skewing towards poor taste and often evoked public hostility. Bad Trip is a shot in the arm for the genre of real practical jokes, succeeding by wrapping up its series of uproarious stunts in an appealing storyline with entertaining characters.
Bad Trip is released on Netflix on 26th March 2021.
Watch the trailer for Bad Trip here: