Movie Review: Horrible Bosses (2011)

Posted: July 9, 2011 in Comedy, Movies
Tags: ,

Nick (Jason Bateman) works for Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) Nick works very long hours for eight years and takes a lot of crap from Harken, because Harken hints at giving Nick a raise.  Not only does Nick not get the raise, Harken gives it to himself. Kurt Buckman Jason Sudekis) works at a chemical factory, for a nice boss, Jack Pelit (Donald Sutherland) at a chemical factory. Jack keels over and dies of a heart attack and hands the company over to his not so nice son, Bobby (Colin Farrell) who promptly asks Kurt to fire two employees and turn over the plant’s environmental safety program to Brazilians, because they work cheap. Dale (Charlie Day) works for a female dentist, Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston)  who sexually harasses him, verbally and physically, and Dale doesn’t like it because he’s got a fiancé.

The three friends start musing about killing their bosses. The musing takes shape into a more concrete plan, when they meet Dean “MF” Jones (Jamie Foxx) in a “bad part of town” Jones gives the guys some advice, he says the three of them must kill the other person’s boss.  Harken is allergic to peanuts, Bobby has a cocaine addiction, and they haven’t quite figured out how to kill, Julia yet, but they’re working on it.  Do the three frustrated worker bees get the ultimate revenge on their Horrible Bosses?

This is often a very funny movie with situations ripe to be mined for big laughs, and the big laughs are often there.  But at times this movie forgets where its laughs come from and that is from the bosses themselves, too often it’s just three guys driving around saying and doing stupid things, and that wears thin after awhile.  Dale starts out as a wimp and a pushover and turns into a whiny twerp that is not in the least likeable, Sudeikis starts out somewhat bright and idealistic, but then turns into a one joke character and after a while that joke is not funny.  Only Bateman really shines as the most aggrieved of the three friends, he’s done enough comedies to know how to modulate his performance.  This movie almost went into the crapper for me, and then it was saved none other than Jamie Foxx, remembering how to make people laugh and doing it well.  Kevin Spacey also saves this movie with a diabolically funny performance as a sick, twisted SOB.  Colin Farell was also very funny, as was Aniston, who finds her voice playing doctor with a very unwilling dental assistant.  More bosses, less friends, and this would have been a cult classic comedy, along the lines of Bowfinger, but it still is a very funny movie.  With all the bloated, special effects driven soulless enterprises out there, (Yes I mean you Transformers) it’s nice to see a dark, black comedy that pushes humor to the edge and isn’t afraid to go over the edge at times. It’s nice to see a movie take big risks and often succeed.  This is a movie with a good premise, perhaps not fully realized, but well acted and well written.

Horrible Bosses.  Who’s the Boss?  Black Comedy, that’s who.

  1. jahshuwah87 says:

    I agree, it was quite good and had some very inspired comedic moments. Being familiar with these actor’s work, I no doubt found Bateman and Day’s characters slightly too similar of their respective roles on Arrested Development and It’s always Sunny. Nevertheless, very funny, and better than the other big comedies of the year thus far – Hangover 2, Bad Teacher, Hall Pass.

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