Friday, April 25, 2014

Movie Review: "Bad Words" (2014)

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Movie"Bad Words"
Director: Jason Bateman
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

By exploiting a loophole in the official rules, Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman), a 40-year old editor and middle school dropout, is able to join a spelling bee intended for 8th graders. He is on a mission and has every intention of making it to the finals, even though he is angering parents, faculty, and administrators with his stunt. With the help of Jenny Widgeon (Kathryn Hahn), a reporter for an internet newspaper, he is allowed to compete, and along the way, he catches the attention of Chaitanya Chopra (Rohan Chand), an annoying yet adorable fellow competitor who wants to be his friend. At first, Guy seems like a bitter, self-serving a-hole, but he has his reasons for doing what he's doing, even if those reasons are only known to him.

This movie marks the directorial debut of Jason Bateman, and though it is pretty well-liked by viewers, for us, it falls short in a lot of places. Some parts of this movie are truly funny, but other parts seem forced and offensive just to be offensive. Awkward sex is funny! Racism is funny! Children cussing and looking at boobs is funny! As far as the acting goes, Jason Bateman plays Jason Bateman's character in "Arrested Development," which he has pretty much done for every movie he's been in. He's a dry-witted, sarcastic jerk and has this air of superiority over those around him. If Disney animators had to design a real-life child, it would be Rohan Chand. He is adorable, has that look of innocence, and has those huge eyes you just can't say no to.

We can't say that this movie is good or bad, it's just sort of meh. A lot of it made us roll our eyes, but it's not all a pointless stream of vulgarity. It does come around at the end and shows that it is capable of a lot of heart and feeling. It also does a spectacular job of poking fun at the overly competitive nature of parents who place their children in competitions like this. Throughout the film, it was always the parents and faculty and organizers who were outraged by Guy's actions, rather than the children who competed against him.

This movie really had the potential to be a smart comedy, but in the end, it was too overloaded with dumbed down and basic level humor.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 63%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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