Funny but crass hidden-camera prank comedy; drugs, violence.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bad Trip, a hidden-camera road trip comedy starring Eric Andre, Lil Rel Howery, and Tiffany Haddish, has language, nudity, sexual references, and violence that make it appropriate only for older teens. The film combines a scripted story involving an impromptu road trip with hidden-camera pranks and scenes involving unsuspecting real-life people. Some of these pranks get violent or destructive: The point is to shock with "accidents" (only Howery and mostly Andre get "hurt") involving blood, semen, poop, accidental drug trips, drunken vomiting, and nudity (male behinds and parts of penises are shown). Sexual references include some explicit language. Characters swear profusely, including the "f--k," the "N" word, versions of "s--t," "ass," and more ("bitch," "damn," "hell," "suck," "crap," "c--ksucker," "d--k," "retard," "p--sy," "cum," and "hell," for example). The film is a buddy movie and the main characters learn how much they love and appreciate each other over the course of the action, and Howery's character comes to a new understanding of his relationship with his tough-as-nails sister (Haddish) as well.
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What's the Story?
Buddies Chris (Eric Andre) and Bud (il Rel Howery) are stuck in dead-end jobs living in the same Florida town where they went to high school at the start of BAD TRIP. When Chris runs into his high school crush, Maria Li (Michaela Conlin), he convinces Bud to drop everything and drive to New York City, where Maria lives, so he can declare his love for her. Lacking their own wheels, they decide to borrow Bud's sister Trina's (Tiffany Haddish) car. She's serving time in prison and won't miss it anyway -- or so they think. Soon after they take off on their road trip, Trina escapes from prison. When she discovers the boys have taken her car, she vows to hunt them down and get her car, or kill them in the process. Meanwhile, Bud and Chris will get into all kinds of trouble as they drive north from Florida.
Is It Any Good?
This film has several laugh-out-loud moments, many meant-to-shock sequences, and even some tender scenes of friendship between its two male leads. But like the Borat and Jackass films before it, Bad Trip will turn many audiences off with its over-the-top vulgarity, violence, and gross-out scenes, mostly involving bodily fluids (go ahead and imagine the worst because it's all here). The actors are all convincing in their roles: Howery as the sweet underdog Bud, Andre as the misguided but well-intentioned Chris, Conlin as love interest Maria, and especially Haddish as the hilariously unhinged bully Trina. A perennial comic tool, the male characters seem stuck in a prolonged adolescence. You can tell the cast and crew had a blast making this movie, but even if it's sometimes a fun ride, it definitely won't be for everyone.
The hidden-camera genre always offers some insights into human behavior. It's eye-opening to see how regular people react in completely abnormal circumstances, like a man getting raped by a gorilla, a woman escaping prison or threatening to throw a man off a building, and two men emerging from a spectacular car crash. Some speak out, others ignore what's going on, and some offer advice or assistance -- even in committing a crime. Most pull out their phones and begin filming. This movie is set primarily in Black neighborhoods and businesses up the Southeast corridor between Florida and New York except for some notable exceptions, like an all-White cowboy bar. A final, racially-tinged sequence is reminiscent of Borat at the Conservative Political Action Conference and pays homage to the Wayans brothers' 2004 movie White Chicks. Stick around for the end credits to see how some of the unsuspecting bystanders react when they're told they've been pranked.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the ethics behind films like Bad Trip, which involve unsuspecting bystanders in pranks and unscripted scenes. Do you think the people involved gave their consent to be included in the film? How do you know?
Do you think the film goes too far at any point in its vulgarity or antics? If so, when and why?
A man appears to help Trina escape from prison, and another suggests Bud not tell the police that the car he has just crashed is stolen. Do these men seem to be willing to aide in crimes? What do you make of this?
How does this film compare to other similar movies, like the Borat films or Jackass ?
- On DVD or streaming: March 26, 2021
- Cast: Eric Andre, Tiffany Haddish, Lil Rel Howery
- Director: Kitao Sakurai
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 84 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: crude sexual content, pervasive language, some graphic nudity and drug use
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
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