Jason Bateman as a bad guy is always a fun thing to watch. As such, his new movie and directorial debut, Bad Words, provides plenty of laughs. And, like all things Bateman-related, the film has plenty of heart, too.
Bateman stars as guy, a 40-year-old who enters a state spelling bee after he finds a loophole stipulating entrants must not have graduated the eighth grade. A proofreader with a photographic memory, Guy ticks off parents by getting up on the stage, then beating all their kids, for reasons unknown. Not even the journalist following him around as his sponsor in hopes of a good story can get him to confess his motives.
As he prepares for the national contest, he begrudgingly befriends Chaitanya (Rohan Chand), a 10-year-old Guy nicknames every Indian stereotype in the book, who won’t leave Guy alone despite Guy’s resistance.
Guy’s treatment of his opponents is hysterically mean, from making it look like a girl starts her period on a chair, to telling a boy he slept with his mother the night before. Relax, these kids are middle schoolers, so they get the venom Guy is spewing, and no matter how mean Guy is, he’s still played by Bateman – a man you can’t help but love.
Chand is equally adorable as Guy’s unlikely new sidekick, and their adventurous night that involves a prostitute will keep you laughing. The movie is simple, yes, but it’s still edgy and consistently funny.
Bateman added nice touches as a director, with a rocking soundtrack, a drab color scheme and slow-motion scenes integrated throughout, all which give the movie a unique feel. The movie is only 88 minutes, too, which will keep even the shortest of attention spans captivated. Learn more here.