'Bad Words' review - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Bad Words' review

'Bad Words' review

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Bad Words is the directorial debut of Jason Bateman, an actor known largely as the nice guy in TV shows like Arrested Development and movies like Extract. He is far from a nice guy in his new film. Bad Words follows Guy Trillby, a 40-year-old middle school dropout who's seeking revenge for an unknown slight.  He's doing this by entering a spelling bee by exploiting a loophole in the rules. Along the way he befriends a female reporter and a young competitor in the bee.

Bateman pulls off being a complete jerk with ease. Trillby is a very angry man who takes no guff from anyone. When Trillby ends up meeting one of his competitors on a flight to his next competition, he tries as hard as he can to cut off the friendly advances. But the boy, played by Chaitanya Chopra, refuses to give up, and ends up defrosting Trillby's defenses a bit.  Chopra does an excellent job playing off of Bateman's sociopath antics. Bateman started out as a child actor, and seems to do a great job of getting a believable performance out of his young co-star.

Kathryn Hahn and Allison Janney also get their fair share of laughs throughout the film. Hahn plays a reporter who's helping Trillby get through the contest. He's promised her a huge story by the end of the competition, convincing her to come along. It's the more intimate scenes between the two that turn out to be some of the funniest moments of the film. Janney plays the director of the bee, and is determined to get Trillby knocked out of the competition. Her interactions with some of the angry parents show just how humorous she can be.

Besides all of the laughs, there's also plenty of heart in Bad Words. While not the most original film, it does a good job of saving Trillby's reason for entering the competition for the end. You realize he's not as bad of a jerk as he comes off through most of the movie.

If you're not too offended by extremely foul language and enjoy a great comedy with heart, I highly recommend Bad Words. Hopefully Bateman will go on to direct more feature films and become an even more accomplished director down the road.

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