Natural Born Pranksters

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Natural Born Pranksters Movie Poster Image
Avoid popular YouTubers' vile, repulsive prank movie.
  • R
  • 2016
  • 90 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Absolutely nothing here but mean, hateful behavior, including reacting to others' pain with vicious laughter. Makes racist jokes and jokes about killing.

Positive Role Models & Representations

These are the exact opposite of role models; they exhibit behavior most people would want kids to avoid in every way. One of the pranksters wears a hat that reads "VILLAIN."

Violence

Brief guns and shooting. Human cannonball made to look like he's exploded into a spray of flying blood and guts. Brief images of fake, gory corpses. Image of a man made up to look like a burn victim. Pushing, shoving, wrestling, fighting. Threats. Fear. Fake, scary gunshot sounds from car speakers. Smashing car windows. Images of (fake) attacking aliens.

Sex

Women in bikinis, objectified. Women perform sexualized dances. Strong, graphic sexual imagery. Male masseuse strips down to a small swimsuit. Sex-related talk.

Language

Extremely strong, constant language includes "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "a--hole," the "N" word, "goddamn," "ass," "d--k," "piss," "stupid," and "oh my God" (as an exclamation).

Consumerism

Various brands on display in real-life backgrounds: Coca-Cola, Kettle Chips, Ritz Crackers, Oreos, etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters pretend to drive drunk. Pretend drug deal. Cigar smoking. A person admits that she's been day-drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Natural Born Pranksters is a feature-length collection of nasty pranks performed by popular YouTubers Roman Atwood, Dennis Roady, and Vitaly Zdorovetskiy. It's vile, hateful, repulsive, insulting, and occasionally racist: Even fans of pranks may find that it goes too far. Expect to see images of fake blood and gore, brief guns/shooting, and pushing, shoving, fighting, threats, and fear. Language is extremely strong and constant, with countless uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and more. Women in bathing suits are objectified and perform sexualized dances, a male prank victim strips down to a skimpy swimsuit, and there's graphic sexual imagery and sex-related talk. Characters pretend to drive drunk and partake in a fake drug deal. Real people smoke cigars and admit to drinking.

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What's the story?

In NATURAL BORN PRANKSTERS, YouTube celebrities Roman Atwood, Dennis Roady, and Vitaly Zdorovetskiy play twisted pranks on people. They pretend to siphon gas from a muscle car, to be aroused during a massage, to kill dogs in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant, and to get third-degree burns at a tanning parlor. They trick an actor into filming a robbery scene and then call the police on her. They auction off a painting that appears to be made from fecal matter, masquerade as policemen and pretend to urinate on the street, and try to convince a white man that his Asian wife has given birth to a Black baby.

Is it any good?

This movie based on the stars' popular YouTube channel is vile. Even people who like pranks may find that these repulsive, hateful, insulting, and often racist acts go too far. Most of the unimaginative, juvenile pranks in Natural Born Pranksters involve sex and/or bodily fluids, and there's some bullying. Occasionally, they also veer into truly offensive territory, particularly in the sequence in which they try to convince diners that a Chinese restaurant is killing dogs to serve as food and in another sequence in which they try to convince a white man that his pregnant Asian wife has given birth to a Black baby.

Normally, if a prank is funny, the victim might smile or laugh, but many of the reactions here are the opposite. One man simply yells, "Why?! Why?!" Another guest prankster hugs the victim and says, "I'm sorry." One man simply stares and stares, seemingly in shock, as if he can't believe the depths of depravity that have been unleashed upon him. One prankster actually pranks his mother; she responds by calling him an "a--hole." Some victims seem to express relief after their torture is over, but it's nothing that could be called funny. There's little else to be said about Natural Born Pranksters other than: Stay as far away from it as possible.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way that Natural Born Pranksters depicts violence and gore. How does the "fake" violence compare to images of more genuine threats, fear, and fighting?

  • How does the movie view sex? What values are imparted?

  • Could these pranksters be considered bullies? Why or why not?

  • What's the appeal of pranks/prank videos? Why do some people find them funny? How do the ones in this film compare to others you've seen?

  • Could some sequences in this movie be considered racist? Why or why not?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedies

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