For better or worse, mainstream comedies have swung firmly towards shock. This is a product not only of The Hangover movies, which seem to get most of the credit and the blame, but also Judd Apatow and Seth MacFarlane, whose comedy empires on the big and small screens tend towards loosely scripted raunch over tightly constructed jokes.

The problem with prevalence, particularly when it comes to shock, is that repetition dulls the hilarity. You probably loved the first time Seth Rogen and James Franco went on a stoned adventure, but how about the fifth or sixth time this plot outline was used in as many years? With so many players in the game, the market for adult comedies is surprisingly crowded, and it’s only a matter of time before the jokes wear thin.

source: Warner Bros.

Bastards, if you hadn’t guessed from the road trip scenario and the presence of Ed Helms, has more than a little bit of Hangover DNA. The director of photography for that series, Lawrence Sher, makes his directorial debut with Bastards, and Terry Bradshaw is there for your athlete cameo á la Mike Tyson.

There really isn’t much to distinguish Bastards from the shock pack except its inappropriate title. I know I would blush saying the word in front of my parents, and if anything, it indicates that the film is willing to continue pushing the boundary to keep the jokes funny. That, or the studios have become lax on censorship. Either way, it means that some kid waiting in line for A Dog’s Purpose is going to learn a new word, and little kids swearing is pretty funny.

Bastards is directed by Lawrence Sher and stars Ed Helms and Owen Wilson. It will be released in the U.S. on January 27th, 2017 and in the U.K. on February 3rd, 2017. For international release dates, click here.

Do you think Bastards will be a Hangover-esque road trip? Let us know in the comments!

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