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Movie Review: "Bad Trip"

There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

Netflix Release: 3/26/2021

Netflix Release: 3/26/2021

Synopsis

Chris Carey (Eric Andre) has a job detailing cars, when one day his childhood crush comes in with her car. Her name is Maria (Michaela Conlin), but Chris cannot work up the courage to talk to her. This is largely due to the unfortunate incident that occurred shortly before she arrived, which left him without his clothes. Fortunately, he runs into her again later, and she agrees to meet up with him some time, but she is leaving town to go back to New York City. She runs an art gallery, and she tells him to stop by next time he is around New York. While an innocent and polite invitation, Chris takes it very seriously.

Chris then convinces his friend Bud Malone (Lil Rel Howery) to borrow his sister's car and go on a road trip with him to NYC so that he can meet the girl of his dreams. Bud's sister Trina (Tiffany Haddish) is in prison, so they did not think she would know they borrowed it. However, Trina has escaped, and she goes looking for her car to get out of town. When she finds it missing, she sets out on a mission to find her brother and his idiot friend Chris. Bud‘s sister is crazy, and he has know idea what she will do to them if she catches them. To make matters worse, Chris and Bud have a habit of getting themselves into trouble, and this habit leaves a trail of bread crumbs that Trina will have no problem following.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then added or subtracted based on each Pro and Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points, ranging from 0-10, to convey how significant these Pros or Cons are.

The ProsThe Cons

Tiffany Haddish (+6pts)

Immature Pranks (-3pts)

The Pranks & The Reactions (+8pts)

Maria Conclusion (-3pts)

The Story (+3pts)

Trina Conclusion (-3pts)

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Pro: Tiffany Haddish (+6pts)

Tiffany Haddish was great in this movie. Now I am fairly certain that this movie was shot years ago, because I feel like most people would recognize her at this point, but either way she was great in this movie. The actors in this movie had to play characters, but they had to be believable as real people, and they had to hold it together while the people they were pranking were reacting to what they were doing. That could not have been an easy task, but the actors in the movie pulled it off, and Tiffany Haddish was one of them.

I found Tiffany Haddish’s scenes to be the most entertaining, because her character was crazy, over-the-top, and her situations got some great reactions. I liked everything the guys did, but their pranks were more of a hit or a miss for me. Some of their scenes were great, some not so much, but Tiffany Haddish’s scenes were consistently entertaining. This was not a dramatic, serious role by any stretch of the imagination, but the role required a very specific skill set, and Tiffany Haddish delivered in a really entertaining way.

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Con: Immature Pranks (-3pts)

As I mentioned before, some of the guys’ pranks did not really work for me. These were the more immature pranks—like the gorilla prank, the Chinese finger trap prank, and the excessive vomiting prank. These partially did not work because I thought it should have been obvious that it was not real to the people being pranked, but I also just did not think the premises of these pranks were very funny. It was like these jokes were specifically aimed at middle-school boys, and while I am all for immature humor, these pranks were so immature that they were no longer funny—at least for me. With all of that in mind, this was not that big of a deal. The filmmakers had to come up with a series of pranks for this movie, and while most of these pranks worked well, a few of these pranks crossed the line of what I considered funny, as they ended up in immature territory.

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Pro: The Pranks & The Reactions (+8pts)

I thought most of these pranks were pretty funny, and they worked well for this movie. These pranks needed to be funny, they needed to have some sort of shock factor, and they needed to fit loosely into the story. They also had to work in multiple mediums. They had to be effective pranks for the people actually being pranked, and they also had to be effective pranks for the viewers watching the movie at home. These pranks needed to check a lot of boxes, so it makes sense that some of them did not work for me, but most of them did.

There were pranks based on awkward comedy, that made witnesses laugh or feel uncomfortable. There were also pranks that shocked their witnesses, and there were pranks that forced witnesses to take action of some kind. The filmmakers did a great job of coming up with pranks that fit at least loosely within the context of this movie, but they also got a lot of hilarious reactions out of their subjects. Prank comedy can be a hit or a miss in my opinion, and that is especially true when filmmakers try to throw in a story to connect the pranks. I thought the filmmakers of this movie did a great job with it, and Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery deserve a lot of credit for selling these pranks effectively, for providing lot of laughs, and for portraying their characters consistently through it all.

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Con: Maria Conclusion (-3pts)

My only real issue with this character was with respect to the character’s conclusion. The character was introduced naturally, and it was funny to see the embarrassing and crazy situations Chris got himself into when running into her at the beginning of the movie. She also effectively provided an objective for the story, as Chris‘ desire to go on a date with her gave this movie a sense of purpose. What I did not like about Maria was how her role in the story was concluded. The final prank was somewhat funny—not very—but there was not much of a payoff to the final meeting between Chris and Maria, and it sort of made the whole movie feel pointless. Fortunately, this was a ridiculous prank comedy movie, so the story as a whole did not matter too much, making this issue not that big of a deal.

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Pro: The Story (+3pts)

Chris wanting to meet Maria in New York was an effective main storyline for this movie. It forced the main characters on a road trip, which meant that as long as they were heading toward New York, any prank they did on the way felt like it was relevant to the story. It was a story about a couple of guys on a road trip who got into their share of shenanigans along the way. Then there was Trina (Tiffany Haddish) whose storyline worked really well for the movie as well. While the main characters had an objective, Trina being hot on their tails gave the main characters a sense of urgency and risk. It also meant we got to see a bunch of Tiffany Haddish pranks as well. I definitely was not expecting much out of this story, nor should you, but it was effective at stringing all of these pranks together, and it was effective at giving this movie a sense of direction.

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Con: Trina Conclusion (-3pts)

This was another storyline’s conclusion that did not really work for me. The whole movie was building toward Trina getting her hands on Chris and Bud. The whole story was building toward the one-woman tirade known as Trina catching up with the protagonists. Then it finally happened, the meeting was chaotic, destructive and amusing, then it was like the filmmakers just flipped a switch to wrap up the story. After the prank scene in which Chris and Trina finally met, the filmmakers just had Trina be fine for almost no reason, and then the movie ended. It just seemed like the filmmakers could have done a better job of justifying the conclusion to Trina’s story, rather than spend the whole movie showing her going crazy, only to turn off the craziness as soon as it was no longer convenient. Again, this movie was not about the story, so this was not that big of a deal, but it was how the filmmakers wrapped things up, and I thought it could have been done better.

Grading Scale

GradeCategoryPoints

A+

Amazing

95-100

A-

Great

90-94

B+

Good

85-89

B-

Decent

80-84

C+

Average

75-79

C-

Watchable

70-74

D+

Bad

65-69

D-

Terrible

60-64

F

Garbage

45-59

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Grade: B- (83pts)

I was not expecting much from an Eric Andre led prank movie on Netflix. I expected a movie with somewhat of a story, and I expected some laughs, and that was exactly what this movie was. The pranks were funny, the filmmakers did a decent job of making them all fit within the context of the story, and there were some really funny reactions to them. Eric Andre, Lil Rel Howery, and Tiffany Haddish each did a great job of playing their respective characters consistently throughout the movie and throughout all of the pranks, and they did so while managing to hold it together during the ridiculousness of the pranks. Some of the pranks did not work for me, and a couple character conclusions felt like they could have been done better, but overall the story was effective at connecting all the pranks together and at giving this movie a sense of purpose. The end of the story had some minor issues, but that was not what this movie was about anyway. At the end of the day, this was a prank movie, and most of the pranks in it were pretty funny.

Comments

Movie Beasts (author) from MA on April 19, 2021:

Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it

Iqra from East County & Cooking and Baking Expert on April 18, 2021:

I have seen the official trailer of this movie. It is very interesting, Thanks for sharing this story

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