This mix of a scripted buddy comedy road movie and a real hidden camera prank show follows the outrageous misadventures of two buds stuck in a rut who embark on a cross-country road trip to NYC. The storyline sets up shocking real pranks.
The description ‘a Netflix comedy’ would usually have me running for the hills, such is their patchy track record of either unfunny efforts or Adam Sandler’s latest (yes, both do crossover!), but I do have a weak spot for hidden camera comedy – potentially it’s the inner child in me! I’ve loved pretty much all of Sacha Baron Cohen’s stuff, even the weaker material, and Nathan Fielder’s ‘Nathan for You’ is up there with the funniest comedy series of the last decade. ‘Bad Trip’ isn’t close to the same level as them but it did make me laugh on a fairly consistent basis, which is pretty much all I was asking for from an 80 minute comedy on a Saturday night.
‘Bad Trip’ concocts a road trip movie around a series of hidden camera pranks with unsuspecting members of the public that pretty much cover everything in the low brow staple, as we follow two men trying to get to New York from Florida. Along their journey they visit bars, cafes and even a zoo, with largely predictable results, whilst one of the character’s sisters has just been released from jail and is set on tracking them down (an on form Tiffany Haddish). Like any hidden camera material, the fun is in watching the reactions of those not in on the joke, and the more juvenile the prank the funnier these reactions can often be. Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery are both very game in the leading roles (Andre especially, who I suspect will become better known before too long), and there is a genuine warmth in the actual character moments between the two men.
‘Bad Trip’ is trashy but did I find it funny? Yes I did – it’s no ‘Borat’ but it’s an enjoyable bit of escapism with plenty of good laughs and some cleverly devised hidden camera segments.
Directed By: Kitao Sakurai
Starring: Eric Andre, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish and Michaela Conlin