Bad Trip review – an audacious public-prank Netflix film

By Daniel Hart
Published: March 26, 2021 (Last updated: December 18, 2023)
Netflix film Bad Trip


Netflix’s Bad Trip will not be memorable a film this year, but it will certainly amuse you in its full runtime.

This review of the Netflix film Bad Trip does not contain spoilers. The comedy will be released on the streaming service on March 26, 2021.

There is a storyline in Bad Trip, but the real-life pranks on real people revolving around fictional characters are the basis of the Netflix film. The story follows Chris Carey (played by Eric André) and Bud Malone (played by Lil Rey Howery), who embark on a cross-country road trip to New York City so Chris can meet up with the girl of his dreams, Maria Li (played by Michaela Conlin). The film also enjoys a supporting role by Tiffany Haddish, who plays Bud’s convicted sister Trina, and as always, she’s contagiously hilarious.

I’ve always enjoyed public-prank films; pop-culture effective Borat and the recent sequel reminded us how teasing the unaware is absurdly fun. The cast goes “all-out” to shock the public as much as possible in Bad Trip; there’s a certainty that the public is as unaware of what’s going on as much as possible. The pranks that are carried out get more outrageous as the film progresses.

And with that, Bad Trip is funny. Not a chuckle or a tickle, but belly-laugh funny. The production team has done a marvellous job in camera placement to capture nearby citizens and their reactions—the mere purpose is to get the public involved as much as possible. Watching Tiffany Haddish pretend to be an escaped convict and convince a nearby and innocent worker to keep his mouth shut is wildly entertaining, especially when a fake police officer lurks nearby.

Bad Trip bears no limits, which troubles the viewer at first; there are some pranks where you feel even the public wouldn’t be able to suspend their belief, but it somehow works. Eric André and Lil Rey Howery have a way of escalating the situation rather than pushing the final act as soon as possible. By reeling in innocent people, there’s a level of consumption by the public, and that helps strengthen the belief that their experiences are real.

Netflix’s Bad Trip will not be memorable a film this year, but it will certainly amuse you in its full runtime.

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