Following in the current trend of releasing red-band trailers ahead of their green-band counterparts, a cleaned-up cut of the promo for Darko Entertainment’s black comedy Bad Words has gone online weeks after its bawdier cousin hit the web. Amazingly, the edits made to the content don’t change the tone all that much; we might be short a handful of curse words, but the clip still weighs in at a healthy two and a half minute run time with plenty of footage dedicated toward showcasing Bateman going full-jerk and leaving his nice guy image in the gutter.
That means the new teaser can’t be credited with much by way of new material, save for an as-yet-unseen and completely rewarding gag toward the end; it’s a moment that further drives home the idea that Bad Words will be pretty much nothing but an hour and a half of Bateman being a total jag to unsuspecting, defenseless children. (And, admittedly, some adults along the way as well.) All told, the whole thing seems delightfully wrong on any number of moral and ethical levels.
Individual mileage may vary as regards the entertainment value of having the Arrested Development star turn heel, but if these bits suggest anything, it’s that Bateman’s first stint in the director’s chair ought to be a vulgar good time. Following the basic conceit, Bad Words chronicles the misadventures of high school dropout Guy Trilby (Bateman) as he uses a loophole in the National Quill Spelling Bee’s rulebook to enter into competition against kids a fraction his age (and handily trounce them). Sounds like a plan, however poorly thought-out.
Along the way, Guy befriends precocious ten-year-old Chaitanya Chopra (Rohan Chand) on the plane to Nationals, taking the kid under his wing and showing him a whole wide world of debauchery as any degenerate manchild worth his salt might do. What Guy’s overall intention behind both playing a reprobate, surrogate father figure to Chaitanya and muscling his way into a tournament for children actually is remains a mystery, but – as with the previous trailer – there’s a hint that Guy has motivations beyond just being an unapologetic rascal.
Focus Features will kick off distribution of Bad Words in March, so we’ll see what Bateman and screenwriter Andrew Dodge have up their collective sleeves soon enough. For the time being, it looks like they’ve brewed a seriously great bad taste comedy; for Bateman’s recent spate of stale offerings, this movie could be just the thing he needs to get back on track. At the very least, it could prove itself as a line-toeing bit of farce – which would be a nice change of pace for the once and future Bluth.
Bad Words opens in US theaters on March 14, 2014.