Review :: Horrible Bosses

September 1st 2011


It’s The Hangover meets Hitchock. The three slave-driven employees of Horrible Bosses, played by Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis and Jason Bateman, even acknowledge this when they decide to kill off each other’s bosses: ‘It’ll be like Strangers on a Train.’ Whether the Master would have been proud his work continues to be re-interpreted in crude, big-budget comedy like this or turning in his grave that one of his classics is being name-dropped by a couple of layabouts and a gangster called Motherfucker Jones, played by Jamie Foxx. But this is beside the point.

On almost every level, Horrible Bosses (directed by Seth Gordon) is familiar: it’s the revenge of the underdogs against the powerful, the poor and conscientious against the wealthy and lazy, the clash of new, up-and-coming actors with old, established ones. By and large, the big-name stars dominate: Colin Farrell is bizarrely funny as a gonzo cokehead; the ever-reliable Kevin Spacey utterly dominates, in a performance he could probably do in his sleep. Despite the inbuilt predictability of the premise, it’s still kind of a surprise he doesn’t end up thwarting our supposed ‘heroes’ at every turn. Jennifer Aniston, meanwhile, has attracted much attention for her role in this as a nympho dentist who talks dirty and interferes with sedated patients. But Aniston herself looks unhappy and uncomfortable in the role, naughty words and all. Add to that the fact that her ‘boss’ is not in the slightest believable, and she seems more like one of the screenwriters’ wet dreams.

Horrible Bosses is not particularly witty. It has its head in the gutter a lot. It’s very obvious that this movie is going for the breezy appeal of The Hangover – risqué enough to be funny and make you feel a bit dirty after all the same. It even has similar jokes and structure. And sometimes, despite itself, it almost gets there. We can probably thank the cast for that.

What: Horrible Bosses

Where: In cinemas nationally

When: Open now

How much: You know, movie price


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