Bad Trip is the latest Netflix creation from the Jackass team, with their unique penchant for cruel and unusual movie entertainment.
Back in the 2000s, before the existence of YouTube, Jackass ruled the airwaves. The premise was simple – a group of friends playing cruel and elaborate pranks on each other and the public. It was relentlessly crude and mean, but nevertheless it grew a large and dedicated audience. As the Jackass series progressed, it started to become less and less out-there and relevant in its premise. YouTube was quickly taking over the world and in its place, thousands of copycat prank channels and videos emerged.
With this development, the Jackass team started to shift their strategy. In 2013, they released the moderately-successful spin-off, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa. Touting the same level of manic movie entertainment as the main series, this movie had a unique twist. At it’s core, it was a fictional narrative about ‘bad grandpa’ (played by Johnny Knoxville in heavy makeup). He travelled around America with his grandson while pulling pranks and stunts on real people along the way. The movie was a success, and could prove they can retain the Jackass spirit while doing something new.
This is where Netflix’s Bad Trip comes in.
Bad Trip stars fellow prank connoisseur Eric Andre and comedian Lil Rey Howery as best friends Chris and Bud. Together, they travel across the USA to attend the art gallery showing of Chris’s high school sweetheart Maria. It’s a basic and barebones story that would be boring in any other movie. Thankfully, thanks to 90% of the cast here being real, completely unaware people, it works. The pranks range from harmless, to humiliating to cruel. Usually, it lingers around the latter categories. It goes without saying that you really need the stomach for cringe comedy to be able to stand this movie.
However, the thrill of seeing the characters walk into a new real location and not have any idea of what will happen next is truly engaging. Even if you can’t stand movies like this, it’s at least worth watching to see how people react. Some people get angry and go after them, some people instinctively help out, and others just run for the hills. It’s almost like viewing a microcosm of humanity in some weird kind of way, to watch how people react to imminent danger.
Although, all of this being said, it’s definitely enjoyable movie entertainment. It has a surprisingly great soundtrack, with some recognisable tunes scattered in there. The highlight for me personally, besides some of the pranks, was the credits sequence. That might sound strange, but during it you get an intimate glimpse at how the movie came together. You also get to see them apologise and chat with the victims of their pranks after the fact, which is a wholesome treat.
In conclusion, if you can stomach it, Bad Trip is an easy watch and an easy laugh when you’re feeling down.
Bad Trip is available to watch NOW on Netflix