Horrible Bosses (2011)

July 16, 2011 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

Many people have thought of killing their obnoxious, power-crazed bosses, and this film works with that untapped desire fairly well. Horrible Bosses is a darkly comedic, insanely funny release for that feeling. Director Seth Gordon sets the pace just right, and has the balls to give us a solid comedy flick. The cast is littered with stars, with none phoning in their performances, such as Kevin Spacey, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston and Charlie Day.

Murder. Rape. Blackmail. Revenge. These are topics for a heavy thriller or searing drama; flip the switch and it becomes a wonderful comedy. The concept of killing your pain-in-the-ass boss isn’t exactly original, but the script takes the trio of abused employees through an unpredictable, ballsy and hilarious adventure that it works very well. The film sets up the three bosses to be abusive in their own ways, covering the types of bosses you may have or had in the past and then the fun starts as the innocent trio try to plan “accidents” to get rid of them. From there, the pace is fast and the jokes cut deep.

Horrible Bosses has a star-filled cast, and each stand out in their own ways. The best of the best is probably Charlie Day as Dale, a wrongfully registered sex-offender turned dental assistant that is being pushed by his sexual abusive boss. Day brings his awkward, freak-out style of comedy to the role and he delivers a quirky performance that shines. Jennifer Aniston, as Dale’s boss Dr. Julia Harris, is a sex-crazed blackmailing whore. Aniston is kinky, crazy, and a bit psychotic, and she’s clearly having fun with the role. After all these years, Aniston still looks  good–maybe even better than ever. Kevin Spacey plays the head honcho of asshole bosses as Dave Harken, the psycho boss from hell. Spacey legitimately makes the audience hate him and he’s so good at being imposingly abusive, especially towards Jason Bateman, playing Nick Hendricks, an everyday man looking for some pay-off to his years of hard work. Jason Sudaekis, playing Kurt, completes the trio as another everyday nice guy that comes up with the crazy idea for the trio to murder their bosses. There’s also Jamie Foxx as the murder consultant with a name that speaks for itself: Motherfucker Jones.

Horrible Bosses is a darkly delightful comedy, and a fun time at the movies for anyone who’s looking to murder their higher-ups. The pace is fast, the jokes are plentiful and the stars all shine. The film makes more right steps than wrong ones, and by the end of the film most will be satisfied at where the trio ends up.

Potential Drawbacks:

The characters are funny and solid, but there’s nothing completely memorable about them. Some may not even enjoy Charlie Day’s performance because it seems like a dilute version of his character on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

The story starts off well, but at times it seems like it doesn’t know where to go and some of the antics come off forced. There are also nitpick details that don’t add anything to the film, like the unnecessary voice-overs of the trio.

There’s just that “it” factor that’s missing that could have made this film an instant comedy classic.

Film Recommendations:

Due Date

Old School

Bottle Rocket


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