Horrible Bosses

Director: Seth Gordon

Notable Cast: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Jaime Foxx

Rating: R

Review:  Horrible Bosses, thank you for putting together three of the funniest “other guys” in film today.  Bateman, Day, and Sudeikis have been stuck next to big Hollywood names for most of their roles (Bateman longer than Day/Sudeikis), but Horrible Bosses gives them all the reigns.  Not only that, but the script perfectly mixes the farfetched nature of the murderous story with typical and relatable workplace drama/comedy.  Horrible Bosses takes a scenario that some people joke about, and then acts the entire proceeding occurences out farther than even the drunkest of conversations could go.  Except instead of coming together like a drunken botched plan, everything is well written and the jokes put an emphasis on all the right elements of the film.  Horrible Bosses could have spun recklessly out of control, but a heavy hand guides our little comedic trio in a way that is almost relatable.  Relatable only if you’ve ever tried to plot your boss’ murder that is.

As the title states, Nick (Bateman), Dale (Day), and Kurt (Sudeikis) all have the reincarnation of Satan as their bosses.  Dave Harken (Spacey) is the big shot CEO that rules Nick’s life, manipulating him to be his slave without ever showing appreciation or recognition.  Dave wouldn’t even let Nick see his grandmother on her death bed, instead piling work on at the office.  Dr. Julia Harris (Aniston) has a sexual obsession with Dale, and even goes so far as to blackmail him with staged photographs.  Of course this wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that Dale is recently engaged and trying to keep his relationship afloat. Finally, Bobby Pellitt (Farrell) is the son of recently deceased Jack Pellitt, former manager of the chemical company Kurt works for.  Now, Bobby has inherited the position, and makes it apparently clear that he has no interest in the company at all.  Under his control, the entire company is going to be run directly into the ground.  Clearly, something has to be done about the situation the three friends find themselves in.  So, while blowing some steam off after work, the joke comes up that they should all just kill their bosses. Laughs are had, glances are shared, but it doesn’t sink in till the next day that if the plan was good enough, it was worth a shot.  So, from that point on, our inexperienced hit men set out to find out the best way to dispatch of all their problems, with massive complications along the way no doubt.

Easily the high point in Charlie Day’s career…

Now, there are gimmicky comedies that flaunt A-list talent in preposterous roles but can’t back it up, and then there are comedies like Horrible Bosses that really utilize their stars perfectly.  Aniston and Spacey were dynamite, while Farrell was a notch lower but still pretty damn funny.  Spacey perfectly fit the “Boss from Hell” role every suit dreads working for, using that snide tone and “I don’t give a shit” attitude in every line.  Spacey made sure his character was portrayed as a douche in every sense of the word, making us cringe from Bateman’s point of view.  Aniston also ate up the horn dog persona of her dentist character, really crossing so many lines in workplace misconduct.  Not only that, but it was always something different.  Aniston had a sexual bag of tricks she would yank from be it a slap on the ass, an inappropriate back rub, some ear lobe biting, or even some good licking.  Not to mention she looks so damn good for her age, it made every advance have that much more meaning.  This wasn’t any ordinary babe Day’s character had to fight off.  Day was fighting off a bona-fide bombshell, which made it not only easier on the eyes, but ten times more effective.  As for Farrell, he tries to pull a Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder role off, strapping on the fat suit and bald cap.  I can’t lie, he did crack me up, especially in his first office scene, but he lacked that extra oomph that made Cruise such a hit in his transformation.  Hands down, Horrible Bosses would have been would have been lacking without these three workplace nightmares (but can you really call being sexually harassed by Jennifer Aniston a problem?!).  Not only did they channel their deepest inner scum bag, but you could get the sense they had fun doing it.  This quality shows on-screen, and always in a positive manner.  Let’s not forget Foxx as “murder consultant” _____ Jones.  Sorry, a huge part of the joke is his first name, which thankfully overused and beaten into the ground.  These names round out the high-profile cast…

But hey, you can’t have the bosses without the workers, and our little guys were a riot to watch.  Sudeikis and Day already had chemistry going from their first buddy appearance in Going The Distance, but adding Bateman in the mix was anything but throwing a wrench in the system.  The group worked together so well, portraying the “real person” demographic instead of the usual Hollywood leading men. They had the feel of the everyday worker right out of your office, except you don’t have co-workers as funny as these guys.  Bateman has that dry, sarcastic humor along with the straight edge look that have made him so popular today.  Sudeikis on the other hand is just the completely lovable goof, having a boyish charm to his humor.  Bust most of all, I love seeing Charlie Day strive outside of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” as he is genuinely a heavy hitting comedic talent in every way.  Day has the “idiotic” comedy down pat, but he mixes it with a strong physical presence and quick wit that make him impossible not to love.  The three of them together drive the movie along, and make me wish I could stand around the water cooler with these guys.

So with Horrible Bosses, you get one part workplace comedy a la Office Space/one part bumbling criminal comedy.  In a way, the comedy was a lot of what you would expect: gross comments, stupid mistakes only rookie criminals would make, and Charlie Day yelling.  But, the story was interesting enough, the comedy was still fun, and the cast was perfectly worked together; mixing the usuals with out of their element big shots.  You’ll enjoy watching the three friends plot against their malicious bosses, and have just as much fun watching the bosses abuse these poor saps.  Horrible Bosses is one of the funniest films I’ve seen this year, and a nice addition to this summer’s lineup.

Final Rating: 7.5 too many bad work days out of 10

The usual suspects….


About Matt Donato

I love all things film. I'll watch any genre, any actor, at any time. This whole film critic thing is a passionate hobby for now which I'm balancing with working in the business world, but hey, someday, who knows?
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