Bad Trip ★★½

I watched this through a migraine so take my opinion with a grain of nasty-tasting salt (or gorilla semen.) But BAD TRIP is too reliant on its flimsy narrative not to feel like a mediocre hard-R comedy forced into a string of set pieces that prank real people. The gross-outs don't feel that funny or transgressive (although I wished Borat and his daughter had joined Eric Andre, Lil Rel Howery and Tiffany Haddish for the rich white folx' ball in the Hamptons, and the "Maria" performance in the mall is inspired.) These stunts about inter-species rape, public vomiting, LSD-induced freakouts in a grocery store, etc. would probably play better in a half-hour TV show. But I felt a mounting nausea during the film which had nothing to do with a distaste for watching bodily fluids fly, so who knows?

PS: A day later, now that I feel much better, the film seems smarter and even subtler the more I think about it. Its narrative subverts common, unhealthy rom-com tropes, especially one depicted in a certain hugely popular and influential gross-out comedy from the '90s. It takes place in a world where Black men get to act out in weird, even dangerous ways in public with little fear of getting arrested or worse. (in fact, white people barely appear in the film apart from the final scene.) John Semley made the excellent point that it demonstrates how sociopathic behavior from Hollywood comedies looks when acted out in real life (although much of Sacha Baron Cohen's career is built on this point, as well as a genuine amorality that Eric Andre doesn't seem to share.)

Steve Erickson liked this review