Plot: Guy Trilby (Bateman), a 40-year-old high school dropout gets his revenge by finding a loophole and attempting to win a spelling bee as an adult. Along the way, he befriends a female reporter and a young Indian contestant who he exposes to the wilder side of life.
Review: After walking out of bad words, I felt like my vocabulary of one liners had been increased ten-fold. That’s because Jason Bateman’s newest black comedy is full of great, vulgar one liners that keep the laughs coming, yet the story has some great emotion behind it to keep it moving.
Bad Words stars Jason Bateman as Guy Trilby, a 40 year old man who uses a loophole in the national spelling bee competition to exact his revenge. Along the way he befriends a young boy named Chaitanya Chopra (played by Rohan Chand) who he runs around with teaching the kid how to act like him. One of the first hooks that catches your attention is what exactly his revenge is. Journalist Jenny (played by Kathryn Hahn) spends most of the film trying to figure out what exactly Guy’s revenge is. It brings an intrigue to the film that makes the viewer want to know why exactly Guy acts the way he does. I won’t spoil the revenge obviously, as it is one of the main points of the film, but I will say it does makes sense why Guy is the way he is and try not to feel sympathy for his character, even if he is, well, a dick.
The way Guy acts is where the comedy comes into play. Guy is at first a very unlikable character; he is rude, ignorant, racist and hilarious all at the same time. Jason Bateman is usually a very likeable guy in the roles he has done in the past so it is hard not to like him. This makes the should I or shouldn’t I laugh moments that much funnier. I haven’t seen such a likable a**hole on screen since Billy Bob Thorton in “Bad Santa.” Like that movie, “Bad Words” is incredibly vulgar. I have already mentioned the one liners but man they are hilarious and dark. It is straight forward black comedy, its does not pull any punches and may offend some people who can’t look past that. Rohan Chand also does a fantastic job, playing an innocent and yet not innocent young boy. He is very intellectual for how young he is and plays the role perfectly
Jason Bateman is also making his directorial debut and he does a great job at it. The film has great pacing to it and really doesn’t have any boring lulls, it grabs your attention and holds it for the entire time without overstaying its welcome.
“Bad Words” was exactly what the previews showed it to be; mean and funny with a heart. I loved the film and laughed through it. The one-liners alone are worth the price of admission. I feel this may become more of a cult comedy like the aforementioned “Bad Santa” or “The Ref” which kind of saddens me because the film deserves more attention than that. If you are in the mood for a dark kind of comedy, go see “Bad Words”, it won’t disappoint you. 8/10