#160 / 365 – ‘Horrible Bosses’ – 98 mins
Cinema Challenge #65 / 115
Everybody’s had an awful boss they’ve dreamed about killing. But nobody actually plots to do the evil deed – apart from these guys. Mind you, they’ve been pushed to their limits. Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) is a humble dental assistant whose sexually aggressive boss, Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston), is determined to have her way with him. Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) endures the world’s most demanding, sarcastic and unfeeling boss in the unappealing form of Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey). Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) seems to have a relatively easy life under kindly Jack Pellitt (Donald Sutherland). Until, that is, Pellitt’s annoying, cocaine-addled son, Bobby (Colin Farrell), takes over. But to pull off the perfect murders, the trio need expert help. On the seedy side of town, they recruit murder consultant Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx).
Horrible Bosses makes no secret that it was inspired by the success of The Hangover, and like the ‘wolfpack’ this film relies on the chemistry of its three main leads for the laughs.
The Bosses – Spacey’s pretentious, steely-eyed company president is the most realistic of the bosses and plays the role chillingly straight. Aniston goes into full and likeable hotness mode as the nymphomaniac dentist and clearly has enormous fun in a role that couldn’t be further removed from her perky rom-com heroines she normally plays. Farrell is excellent as the deranged kung-fu cokehead and is clearly the best character on show, but yet he’s so criminally underused. Even though Jamie Foxx pops up as the brilliantly named murder consultant, Motherfucker Jones his character sub-plot is all a bit pointless.
Whilst the would-be assassins’ of Bateman, Day and Sudeikis hopelessly bungling efforts raise a few laugh out loud moments, where the jokes are often extremely rude and hilariously crude. Unfortunately Seth Gordon’s (‘Four Christmases’) meandering plot doesn’t make the most of the film’s set-up which could have resulted in placing Horrible Bosses in the same league as ‘The Hangover‘ and ‘Bridesmaids‘, but this leaves you with an all too average hit-and-miss feeling.