It’s hard to even know what to say about a movie like “Bad Trip.” Comedy is a difficult genre for critical review because of the subjective nature of humor itself. Can one offer critical and interesting thoughts about any of the “Jackass” movies or their progeny? I doubt it. The “Bad Trip” formula is essentially a blend of public pranking in the style of those films, with a dash of a deliberately hollow parody story in the vain of a romantic comedy. But unlike a film like “Borat” which cushions its slapstick humor with smart satire or subtle commentary, “Bad Trip” doesn’t provide much fodder to justify why it should be particularly noteworthy at all.
If the point of a film like this is strictly to make people laugh—and you can argue it does simply because the culture should indeed encourage light and forgettable chuckles—then “Bad Trip” likely succeeds. There are a lot of raunchy pranks that entertain, especially those with the impulsive, immature taste for it.
But if part of the purpose of film is to leave a lasting impact on the media landscape, then as fun as “Bad Trip” is, when compared to any of the golden or best grossing comedy hits of the past few decades, it is ultimately forgettable and amounts to little beyond the crude gags. And that’s okay!