Mockumentaries aren’t new but they aren’t an underexplored territory. Famous comedian Sacha Cohen Baron has literally cracked the genre with his exceptional Titles like Borat, Aladdin, and Ali G. Netflix Film, Bad Trip is a hidden camera film that isn’t exactly a mockumentary but showcases bits and pieces of the genre.
Experimental Comedy genres like Mockumentary, Hidden Camera Films, Guerrilla Films provide a budget-friendly medium to aspiring and independent filmmakers to showcase their quirkiness. In his film, the director of Bad Trip, Kitao Sakurai tickles your funny bone but does the film work as a whole?
‘Bad Trip’ Summary
The film stages a very thin plot. A wasted youth, Chris Carey (Eric Andre) shuffling between odd jobs in Florida finds his high school crush, Maria Li passing by. In their second meeting, Chris finally gathers enough strength to talk to her. Maria works as an art curator and owns an art gallery in Manhattan. She offers Chris a visit if she happens to be in New York anytime.
A highly optimistic Crazy Chris romanticizes Maria’s offer and starts daydreaming about it. He decides to visit New York and speak his heart out to Maria. He makes plans to love her and make love to her. But Chris has no money to finance a trip to New York. He requests his only friend, Bud Malone (Lil Rel Howery) to accompany him. In reality, Chris wanted to use the car of Bud’s sister, Trina Malone (Tiffany Haddish) for the trip. Trina is in jail and thus Chris tries to coin the situation.
When both of them leave Florida for New York in Trina’s car, Trina runs away from the prison and comes looking for her beloved car. When she finds out the truth, she couldn’t control her anger and pledges to kill Chris and Bud for stealing her car. She follows them to New York.
Bad Trip isn’t an upright comedy film. It’s vulgar and relies too much on Toilet Jokes. Some cute and goofy moments like Chris awkwardly interacting with Maria are few and outnumbered. The film is stuffed with too many sexual sketches. A special DMT sequence on their travel is extremely impressive and experimental, but nothing concrete comes out of it.
The narrative of the film feels like a collection of funny sketches rather than a film in itself. The sketches don’t generally merge into the plot and writer/director Kitao Sakurai rides away from the main pursuit to crack a joke, which isn’t a bad thing for a comedy show but the worst thing for a film.
The film could be enjoyed and maybe it influences a few chuckles too, but in the end, it isn’t anything memorable. One can stream it to pass the time if they are feeling low or need to lift up their mood with Crazy Chris Optimism.
Bad Trip is a 2021 Comedy Road Trip film directed by Kitao Sakurai is streaming on Netflix.
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