Monday, August 4 2014, 04:18 PM MDT
Movie Review: Bad Words
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Jason Bateman
Starring: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney
Recommended To: Those looking for an uneven, but often funny, black comedy.
Synopsis: Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman), a 40-year-old man, has found a loophole that allows him to compete in a children’s spelling bee.
Review: For as much as I want to like Jason Bateman the truth is that I tend to dislike the majority of the films he appears in. Even his more popular films (think Identity Thief, The Change-Up or Horrible Bosses) leave me wondering why I always look forward to seeing Bateman included in a film’s cast. Bad Words finds Bateman starring and directing. It’s his first feature-length assignment (he previously directed a handful of television episodes) and while I’d love to tell you that he shows a real talent behind the camera the truth is Andrew Dodge’s screenplay is so incredibly uneven that it is impossible to tell if any director could have made an appealing film. Guy Trilby is a terrible person. He has his excuses and his actions serve a greater purpose, but the path that he takes makes him almost impossible to root for. Not that there are many, if any, adult characters in the film I’d feel comfortable supporting. Bad Words is, as the script acknowledges, a long tantrum that while funny at times ultimately doesn’t amount to much.
-Ryan Michael Painter