Jason Bateman Jason Sudeikis Charlie Day Kevin Spacey Jennifer Aniston Colin Farrell
Another attempt to capitalize on the success of The Hangover films, Horrible Bosses takes a concept like the hangover, where it's audience can widely identify with a terrible boss. Of course, like Hangover, everything is wildly exaggerated and that is part of the film's problem. I would rather watch this movie 10 more times than watch either of the Hangover films again because it at least has a handful of funny parts. Jennifer Aniston might be the most popular and in demand actress that is consistently disappointing; that being said, this role is at least something different (don’t construe different as good, either). Predictability is Horrible Bosses's biggest crutch.
Friends Nick (Bateman), Dale (Day) and Kurt (Sudeikis) all hold down jobs where their bosses are ruining their lives. Dale and Kurt like their jobs except for their bosses while Nick has devoted 8 years of his life to his, banking on a promotion that he is assured will never happen. When the idea is voiced they should rid themselves of their problems that friendly banter turns into reality when they fork over cash to a supposed hit man (Jamie Foxx). Of course, when nothing goes to their plan the three morons find themselves in more trouble than they had to begin with.
There is a scene featuring a cat that seems to always be hiding and then jumps out to scare the guys (and an attempt to make the audience jump). It is pre-empted by a painting on the wall and a few other tricks, as if we are suppose to be surprised by the cliché. Donald Sutherland himself has even become a cliché; He plays Kurt’s lovable boss who dies after being on screen for five minutes, which has become Sutherland’s M.O. (see The Eagle, The Mechanic). The script just contains too many scenes the audience can see coming from miles away. Day (Going the Distance) is by far the most annoying element to the entire movie and the most inexperienced of all the actors.
The best parts of the movie are when Spacey, Aniston and Farrell are on screen, there just isn’t enough of it. This film wouldn’t have worked at all without big names in the supporting roles of the horrible boss roles. Farrell has the least amount of screen time of the three bosses and interestingly, it's Aniston who is the most fun to watch (can’t remember the last time I said that about a movie). For the first time since The Good Girl (her only film performance worth watching), she actually plays something other than the love interest. Spacey’s role here could have easily been written for the actor, and while we have seen him do this before, it’s fitting. The script sacrifices the truly funny stuff involving the horrible bosses for more stupid moments with the three lesser actors and does the quick wrap up at the end.
Final Thought – A handful of laughs in an otherwise predictable raunchy comedy.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Michael Woody