Horrible Bosses

Malcontent and Crossfires

         
 

08 July 2011| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

Speckled laughs throughout, maybe a few big laughs, but also squandered opportunities. Horrible Bosses is funny, very crude with bodily functions, and is never dull, but if you’re looking for supplemental double bill “Office Space” (1999) comedy then you might want to know something: the humor that explores that kind of abuse and irk at the office workplace is mostly found in the early scenes until it goes into the mode of lethal scheming. Like “Strangers on a Train” (1951) or “Throw Momma from the Train” (1987) the buddy trio will hatch a plan to rub out their bosses. The abused employees are Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day (the most annoying). The bosses are Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston (the funniest/naughtiest). The inept first-time criminals stuff has its share of stupendous bits, and the foils result in one of the funniest “confessions” you’ve ever heard – no, you won’t guess who it comes from. But you can likely guess your way through the second half of the movie which is predictably programmed. You will still probably laugh anyway.

If the movie has got a straight man then it has to be Bateman. The last two years Bateman has done some wasteful work, and he hasn’t been lucky with casting since his two 2009 stints with the grown-up comedy “Up in the Air” and the underrated “Extract.” Sudeikis is the recurring horndog having practically repeated his performance from the funny and wicked “Hall Pass” that came earlier this year. Sudeikis and Day were leftovers in last year’s “Going the Distance,” but be warned, Day gets annoying at a certain point although his secondhand smoke with cocaine is dirty merriment.

As for the bosses, only Spacey is the real typecast here – yet that is a welcome treat or at least it should be for most. In 1994 he gave a very similar performance as a horrible boss in “Swimming with Sharks,” which even though it had an overplotted format, it had enough bit that I say Netflix it. Farrell for many moviegoers can be a douchebag – but that’s more his real-life persona than his movies (“In Bruges” of 2008 and “Crazy Heart” of 2009 are proof of talent) so know that this time he does an inspired spin on a douchebag, drug-addicted boss after he inherits the position from his deceased father. The problem is that Farrell, and his prosthetic bald head, gets very few scenes to strut his comic stuff. But the surprisingly fresh and verging on godsend performance is by Aniston who usually does bitchy and fickle characters that are supposed to be lovable (“The Switch?” Yech!), but here does bitchy and frisky as a slutty boss dentist that harasses her assistant. She plays with a popsicle, a banana and a hot dog in a way that can’t be viewed as mentally healthy.

To help the boys with triple homicide is Jamie Foxx (who reaches back to his 1999 “Any Given Sunday” performance, maybe a little 1997 “Booty Call” attitude in there), a low-life criminal also with  some camcorder experience. He goes by the name Motherf***er Jones, but hold your breath for the explanation behind that name. He provides some aid by instructing the boys on how to proceed on a reconnaissance mission – but, of course! Nobody sucks in this movie, but there are jabs at butt, handjob and piss jokes. Ewwww!

100 Minutes. Rated R.

SCREWBALL COMEDY / TEENS AND ADULTS / SUNDAY-THURSDAY NIGHT COMEDY

Film Cousins: “Throw Momma from the Train” (1987); “The Big Lebowski” (1998); “Swimming with Sharks” (1994); “Office Space” (1999).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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