It's a question we've asked ourselves quite a few times. Why does Jason Bateman continually make such awful films? Is it because he hates us? Is he trying to surreptitiously convince a generation increasingly tightly bound to their TV and computer screens to go outside and enjoy the simple pleasures of nature by continually making films that are so bad you have to leave the cinema? Yes. Let's say yes. It seems like the nice kind of thing he'd do.
He's like Matthew McConaughey or Johnny Depp - his popularity is totally unrelated to anything he's done for many years. All people want is for him to do that face he does where something really bad happens and he doesn't care. Once they've seen that, he's straight back as their favourite actor.
The strange thing is, when he does films with other people we like he tends to turn them bad too. Take two recent examples - Identity Thief and Paul. Melissa McCarthy was nominated for an Oscar for Bridesmaids and Paul had Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Seth Rogen in. They should have both been amazing, but they weren't.
You would have thought that perhaps there were a few exceptions though. A couple of amazing films that prove he's just bad at choosing scripts, but no, it's like he deliberately makes terrible films. Here are the IMDB results for his last ten films:
Identity Thief - 5.7
The Longest Week - 4.8
The Change-Up - 6.3
Horrible Bosses - 6.9
Paul - 7
The Switch - 5.9
Couples Retreat - 5.4
The Invention of Lying - 6.4
Up in the Air - 7.5
Extract - 6.2
Ok, so there's a few 7s in there, but they're mostly around the 6.5 mark or below, and that's bearing in mind that IMDB has so many votes everything tends towards around 6.5 anyway. Rotten Tomatoes has a lot of them much closer to 3 and 4. It's getting to the point where he should start appearing in films with Daniel Radcliffe and Robert Pattinson just to finally finish their careers off.
The only conclusion we can really draw from this is that he's doing it for the money, but at the kind of level you'd even have trouble getting 50 Cent to agree to (and he's got his own range of energy drinks). It seems like there is no film Jason Bateman won't do. Which is a shame, because despite his appalling record, we still think he's great. IT MUST BE SOME KIND OF WITCHCRAFT.
Seriously though, he must be doing it on purpose. There's no way anyone could have gone into The Switch not knowing what was going on.
Anyway, to finish up, here's a clip with Jason explaining his thoughts on his film choices: