Horrible Bosses (2011)
Director: Seth Gordon
Writer: Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein
Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Jamie Fox
Country: United States
MPAA Rating: R
Time: 98 minutes
Genre: Comedy, Crime
USA Release: 7/8/2011
On DVD (USA): 10/11/2011
Ever had a boss that just drove you insane? Don’t worry most people do and I can probably guess that at one time or another you have screamed to the heavens (in your mind) that something would just happen to them, no need be embarrassed everyone does it. But “Horrible Bosses” a surprisingly dark and funny comedy, takes it a step further by instead of wishing for something to happen, that they just do it themselves.
In “Horrible Bosses” we meet Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) and Dale Arbus (Charlie Day), the two of them are being horrible harassed by their bosses. Nick who works at a financial firm is constantly being emotionally abused by his boss Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) who instead of giving a promotion to Nick (who thought he was getting it) gives it to himself. As for Dale he is a dental assistant who is being sexually harassed by his boss Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston), and things get worse as she threatens to tell Dale’s fiancée (Lindsay Sloane) that they had sex unless he actually has sex with her. The lucky one of the gang is Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) who actually enjoys work and gets along with his boss Jack Pellitt (Donald Sutherland) but when Jack expectantly has a heart attack behind the wheel and dies, the company is taken over by Bobby, Jack’s cocaine-addicted son. One night while letting off steam at a bar Kurt jokingly proposes that their lives would be a whole lot better if their bosses were not around anymore. At first none of them take it too seriously but as work becomes more grueling they decide to do it, by hiring a hitman. But instead they find a “murder consultant” (Jamie Foxx) who tells them to knock off each others bosses, and with that lets the games begin.
First off I was very surprised not only by the critics good response to this movie, but also that it’s actually a pretty fun ride. I originally thought it was just going to be another raunchy movie like we have already had this summer. But to my surprised I actually had a great time, not to say that the movie doesn’t have it’s problems but with so many great things going on it can be overlooked. Seth Gordon did a great job of directing even though it is just a straightforward dark comedy. As for the writing, to the most part this is a very original concept, yes the thought of killing another person has been done before, they even mention 2 movies that have done the same thing they want to do. But the thought of killing your boss, that is pretty fresh. However the part that does fail in this lies within certain scenes that take a almost clichéd turn as the antics are nothing we haven’t seen before and can feel that they are coming. Luckily those are so few are far between that it’s only a tiny flaw. To the most part the comedy in this lives up to everything we expect from this kind of movie, but at times can be a bit too raunchy, but than again it is a R rated movie not PG-13 so they can get away with it. As for the acting, I thought that Bateman, Day and Sudeikis worked very well together, and worked each scenes dialogue and gag off each other well too, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the scenes relied totally on improve. For the 3 bosses I thought Spacey and Farrell were perfect, just enough over the top to be funny. As well I thought that their characters were very well thought out, especially Spacey who’s character was one you never quite knew where it was going, which is all the more fun. But sadly the same can not be said for Aniston, who I thought played it pretty one dimensional but that might not be totally her fault as the character was the same way. The thing that just gets me is that she keeps playing the same characters over and over again. You would think she would understand that it’s not working with flops like “Bounty Hunter” and “Just Go With It”, I mean we get it you think your hot and can still play the same parts you did a decade ago, but I’m sorry you just can’t. I’m not saying she is too old or anything because she isn’t but she isn’t doing anything out there or challenging herself by shying away from the same old characters. If she wants to have people remember her for something other than “Friends” she isn’t do a very good job, it seems that playing Rachel Green was where she peaked.
Overall this is a great movie, yes it’s at times its nothing we haven’t seen before but with the wonderful cast of Bateman, Day, Sudeikis, Spacey and Farrell they make it such a fun ride that you won’t even be thinking about that. But like any great movie it does have it’s faults one that greatly lied with Aniston, who’s character was too one dimensional and at times way over the top with raunchiness, but thankfully she doesn’t occupy too much of the movie to ruin it.