Have you ever had a boss that you just cannot stand, who makes your life a living hell on a day to day basis? This is the problem faced by Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis). Breaking point comes when they are skipped over for promotion, sexually harassed, demeaned and belittled, so they come up with a very simple solution. Kill their bosses. The problem is, that murder is not as easy as one might think…
Horrible Bosses taps in to the problems faced by everyone – bosses and managers that take advantage of their powerful situation to make their employees lives unhappy. Granted, the solution that the guys come up with is more than a little extreme, but on our bad days we have all dreamed of the same… Haven’t we?
Sudeikis, Bateman and Day are fine in their roles as the over worked and under appreciated staff. It’s great to see Charlie Day on the big screen, even if he is playing a toned down version of Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Jasons Sudeikis and Bateman do not really stretch themselves either. The star turns are from their horrible bosses – Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell.
It seems that someone in Hollywood has finally realised how funny Colin Farrell can be, and has allowed him to shine in his role as a greedy, self absorbed coke head. The bad comb over may be distracting, but his throwaway lines are some of the best he has ever had and he obviously relished the room to improvise. Kevin Spacey is hilariously evil – his flip out over a surprise is over the top and screamingly funny – and his vitriolic comments make it clear that he has nothing but contempt for anyone who is not him. Jennifer Aniston gets to show off her fantastic figure, and play an oversexed cougar who tries desperately to get Dale to sleep with her. While all she and Spacey give a similar performance in terms of tone, this does not distract from her character… It could be the lingerie that makes up for it, or her fantastic comedic timing.
The problem is that we do not see enough of the bosses. The film centres on the employees and after several hapless bumbling mistakes, the story settles into a predictable path that has been trodden many times before. The comedy – and the film as a whole – could have been darker, especially since the theme is that of murder and Jamie Foxx plays a character who is nicknamed Motherfucker… For no good reason. Instead, the film falls into the trap of focussing on the awkward blunders of three men who are driven to murder, but have no idea what to do once they get there.
While Horrible Bosses may not be as clever as it seems, it is still entertaining and evenly paced enough to pass a couple of hours. It’s worth the watch, if only for the bosses and their various quirks, flip outs and eventual downfalls.