Running time: 84 minutes. Rated R (crude sexual content, pervasive language, drug use). On Netflix.
Luring Rudy Giuliani into a Midtown hotel room for a bogus interview is a tough act to follow. It’s one of the many news-making moments that prove the man behind the “Borat” series is the undisputed King of Pranks.
“Bad Trip,” meanwhile, is from a mind more like the Earl of Pranks. The adequate Netflix film, which was supposed to have been released two years ago, is funny in spots, but it flatlines early and gets way too gross.
Does anybody really want to see two dude’s manhoods stuck in a paper finger-trap? There is only one acceptable answer to that horrible question.
Those unlucky fellows are Chris (Eric Andre) and Bud (Lil Rel Howery), two best friends who set off on a road trip from Florida to New York to find Chris’ old girlfriend who’s now a posh art dealer.
The pair, lacking a car of their own, steal Bud’s felon sister Trina’s (Tiffany Haddish) ride. Naturally, after she breaks out of the clink, Trina is irate and embarks on her own journey … for revenge.
Most of the scenes, a la “Borat,” are set in real places of business with flabbergasted and appalled onlookers who are being filmed by hidden cameras. Chris and Bud’s South-to-North route gives director Kitao Sakurai ample opportunity to fool a variety of folks.
There is a love-song flash mob in a shopping mall food court. There are drunks at a roadside bar whom Andre dramatically pukes on. During a trip to a zoo, Andre is molested by a fake gorilla (which, by the way, looks nothing like an actual gorilla).
The best, though, is when Haddish confronts a man on the street with photos of him and Howery — photoshopped somehow — and screams at the confused guy asking where her car is. The average schlub shouts back with gusto.
Taken together, it’s too much. Although the film from the producer of “Jackass” is scarcely 90 minutes, the gags grow repetitious and gradually less hilarious. None of them vary much, and you are left wanting more of Haddish, who is the best part of the movie.
To Andre and Howery’s credit, the actors stay totally sympathetic and likable even as their antics skew more and more lowbrow. But by the end, you start to question whether somebody so stupid deserves to find love at all.