Bad Words (2014)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Kind of funny.

It’s a touch and go feeling for me when it comes to Arrested Development actor Jason Bateman. Will it be good, or will it not is often the question I am faced with for his films. I was interested in seeing Bad Words after someone that I knew praised it for its comedic writing. Well, that’s great, so here I am and I have to say I wasn’t exactly impressed with the humor. Nothing against the writing, it just didn’t click with me through the entirety of the film, and instead…I thought it was mostly mediocre, but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad either. It has some interesting elements that I definitely connected with, but we’ll get into that soon enough.

Jason Bateman plays this guy named Guy that for some reason or another, faces the incredible desire to win at a spelling bee championship…but no one really knows why, seeing how he’s close enough to middle-aged while the other competitors are all middle-schoolers. Fortunately for Guy, his being there is part of a loophole which they can’t do anything about. Meanwhile, there’s a deeper reason why he’s doing this, and that may interfere with his ultimate plans.

I won’t sit here and tell you that the whole thing lacks comedy, because it doesn’t. It clearly makes a lot of people laugh, and laugh hard. The thing you have to realize is that everyone is different and has alternating sense of humors. I believe the most diverse element of the human being is their sense of humor, so that is why comedies are the hardest to connect with an audience. However, I try my hardest at finding what others would laugh at. I get it, it’s crude, it’s sarcastic, it’s rude and in your face, but I think the most important thing about comedy is the context and attitude, and forgive me for saying this, but I don’t think those two things were in sync this time around. It was a mix and match, meaning some bits really worked well while others struggled.

So instead, we look at plot. Now, as interesting as an adult in a spelling bee is, it took so long to even tell you why he was really there that it didn’t work so well with me. Just an idea of an adult in a kids program isn’t enough. While there was a solid, and strong basis for everything storywise, it just took too long to get there. By then, I just didn’t care anymore about the why. However, once it did actually arrive, it really was interesting, and the rest of the movie I could personally connect with and was all for it. It’s just very unfortunate that my excitement was delayed until the last twenty minutes or so.

So. Mr. Touch and Go Bateman…I unfortunately categorize this under the “go” basket and wish you luck on your next venture. I have nothing against you, nor how you played your role. I think you gave it your all and even had a speck of memorable moments. This film also had an interesting enough concept to call unique and I applaud you on that. I also congratulate you on making a comedy that a lot of people can have a great time with and laugh, even if I’m not one of them. Like I said. You are unfortunately a touch and go actor, and this falls under the latter category. Thank you for your hard work. I have to go now.

The Good:

We don’t have a lot of unique comedies that take a lot of creative thinking and randomness to come up with a plot, and we really do get that here. A lot of people do think the film is hilarious as well. The best part, in my opinion, are the messages about the relationships between a father figure and a son, and the many different impacts that can have on people.

The Bad:

I just didn’t find it all that funny, unfortunately. I also think the film took way too long to explain the why in regards to why he was even doing it in the first place. I think that was really important, and the movie is hard to follow if you don’t get it. You can have the funny idea of an adult in a spelling bee, but no one is really going to buy it. They need an explanation. Give them a fake one, I don’t care, just give them something for crying out loud.

The Random:

I’ve been writing less reviews because I recently moved and am still getting settled.


3 thoughts on “Bad Words (2014)

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