The number of film reviews I’m doing seems to be running away from me. I took a trip to Cineworld at the O2 with moderate expectations for this comedy and found myself pleasantly surprised.
Three drinking buddies (Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis), all fed up with their employers discuss the possibility of offing them. A controversial subject for a Hangover style comedy? Perhaps, but given the outright monstrosity of the downtrodden trio it’s a prospect you can just about sympathise with. Bateman’s bureaucratic office top man (Kevin Spacey) is the kind of boss any subordinate would natural despise, hogging promotions and creating entrapping those below him, clearly corrupt with power. Day works for a grotesquely horny dentist (Jennifer Aniston) sexually harassing him with every breath she takes and threatens his future marriage. When Sudeikis’ lovely boss (Donald Sutherland) suddenly dies his company powers pass to his outrageously selfish dick of a son (Colin Farrell) who is fast values his cokehead lifestyle over the job security of all his employees.
The three leads are all everymen nowhere near as overtly characterised as their bosses but they share a great chemistry in their many scenes together as they bumble down the rocky road to murder. Their total ineptitude in their murderous intentions provides frequent hilarity especially in one scene involving Ioan Gruffudd as a man specialising in ‘wet work’. Then there’s Jamie Foxx’s shady crim whose advice gives them the idea of murdering each other’s bosses.
Horrible Bosses is a consistently entertaining film, tightly plotted and maintaining a light tone despite its rather heinous concept. The star-studded cast keep scenes popping with great comic turns throughout. It’s particularly refreshing to see Aniston playing against type although her increasingly dirty dialogue may upset fans of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, it’s hard to imagine Rachel behaving the way she does. Farrell too makes much of his douchebag playboy complete with preposterous comb-over and Spacey is totally convincing as the kind of pure evil office jockey we all love to hate. It’s these three you’ll remember but nothing should be taken from the three leads who are all very easy to sympathise with and bring some energy to the script despite their relatively underdeveloped characters.
The film progresses with a series of mishaps and moments that keep the story rolling and the comedy, while not particularly inventive, gels together with the acting and direction to produce a movie that will have you laughing lots. Sometimes the script seems to be erring towards the crude but thankfully swerves away, as best demonstrated by Foxx when explaining how he got his obscene nickname. If you liked The Hangover chances are you’ll enjoy Horrible Bosses, it’s lacking in a few places and is never likely to have you in stitches but there are plenty of worse ways to spend an evening. The bloopers over the credits are fun too.
A well-crafted ensemble chuckle that manages to take its somewhat taboo subject and turn it into something strangely breezy.