Writer: Andrew Dodge (Screenplay)
Starring: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Rohan Chand, Philip Baker Hall, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, Steve Witting, Beth Grant
Plot: A spelling bee loser sets out to exact revenge by finding a loophole and attempting to win as an adult.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Simple Comedy
Story: Bad Words starts as we meet Guy Trilby (Bateman) a 40-year-old man who has decided to enter into the national spelling-bee for children. He finds a loop-hole for his entry and working with Jenny Widgeon (Hahn) his national sponsor to take on the authorities.
After qualifying for the national championships Guy gets frowned upon while making friends with Chaitanya (Chand) a contender whose parents leave him alone. Jenny tries to learn the story behind Guy’s decision to enter the tournament.
Bad Words is a comedy that takes on the spelling bee culture going around America and how if you study rules you can make any tournament eligible for entry. We get to see a sad back story which has driven Guy to act the way he does which is all good for why he is taking part in the spelling bee. The unlikely friendship also works because Guy sees himself in Chaitanya making him change over time. But on the negative the subject matter isn’t going to be for everyone and in the end could turn people away.
Jason Bateman: Guy Trilby is a 40-year-old man who wants to enter a spelling-bee for kids after finding a loop-hole. He doesn’t care who he offends by entering this tournament and is a terrible example for all the kids involved. Jason gets to use all his comedy chops here
Kathryn Hahn: Jenny Widgeon is a reporter trying to write a story about Guy’s story of entering the spelling-bee. She is also his sponsor for the tournament with her news outlet funding his journey. Kathryn is solid in this supporting role.
Rohan Chand: Chaitanya Chopra is a young Indian boy who is also entering the spelling-bee who befriends Guy along the way he is the only person that shows Guy any sort of light on his dark path. Rohan is great and working opposite Jason.
Philip Baker Hall: Dr Bowman is running the bee and takes an instant dislike towards Guy but he does try to keep everything together in difficult tournament. Philip works well in this role.
Support Cast: Bad Words has a supporting cast which do all help the way the story eventually ends up going.
Director Review: Jason Bateman – Jason does well directing this easy to watch film with the comedy being where needed.
Comedy: Bad Words has good moments that do get laughs without being full blown laugh out loud moments.
Settings: Bad Words keeps the settings in and around the spelling bee without having anywhere too iconic.
Suggestion: Bad Words is one to try that does have moments of enjoyment but might not be for everyone. (Try It)
Best Part: Jason and Rohan have good chemistry.
Worst Part: Certain racial jokes which miss the target.
Funniest Scene: Final showdown.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Budget: $10 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes
Tagline: The end justifies the mean.
Overall: Enjoyable but not memorable comedy.