Horrible Bosses Review
We've all thought about killing our bosses at some point or another. Whether you have the best job in the world or the crummiest job, you're more than likely to have a boss who's a dick.
Clearly, Michael Markowitz, Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (the main nerdy kid from Freaks & Geeks. Scratch that -- the nerdy kid from pretty much everything) have had some bad experiences with bosses in the past, because they're the masterminds behind one of the freshest concepts I've seen from Hollywood in a long time, especially in the comedy department.
In "Horrible Bosses", Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) all hate their bosses for varying reasons. Nick's boss Dave Harken (two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey) is an evil asshole who works Nick to the bone for no reason other than for his own amusement. Dale's boss Julia (Jennifer Aniston) is a "sexually aggressive dentist" who tries to blackmail her assistant into having sex with her. Finally, Kurt's boss Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell with a ridiculous comb over) is a coke fiend who inherits his chemical business from his father (Donald Sutherland) after a car accident early in the film, and tries to fire all the fat people and cripples.
All three have their reasons for not quitting, the plot does a good job of covering those basis, although it does also take the easy "recession" way out. Nick would have to go back to school after his boss would black list him from the industry. Dale is registered sex offender (technically). So, instead of quitting, they do the only logical thing one would do in that situation -- plot to kill their bosses of course!
With the help of "murder consultant" Motherfucker Jones, the three conspire to kill each other's bosses by doing recon in their homes. But of course, since the three have never actually killed anyone before, things go hilariously awry in the most ridiculous and outlandish ways possible, which include accidentally snorting cocaine -- seeing Jason Bateman trying to act strung out might be the funniest thing ever, especially alongside the naturally strung out Charlie Day.
The plot twists and turns a fair bit, to a surprising point, in fact, where the film nearly abandons the main plot point in the third act. It ends up being a little bit uneven, although ironing out a plot that can get as complicated as trying to pull off three perfect murders might be nearly impossible in such cases. And the plot definitely appears better on paper than what ends up on screen, but the six leads, as well as a few nice cameos and small roles from big names, more than make up for a hit-or-miss plot.
Bateman, Sudeikis and Day aren't exactly the hardest actors to work with in Hollywood, but they have great chemistry with each other. Bateman's straight man, Sudeikis' douchebag, and Day's quirkiness play off each other very well. They're only further complimented by Kevin Spacey playing, well, Kevin Spacey, and Aniston and Farrell in refreshingly anti-type roles, both of whom really push the lines of previous roles. Especially Aniston, who for once, steps out of the shadow of Rachel Green. As for Spacey, he isn't a two-time Oscar winner for nothing, so it really doesn't matter if he doesn't really step away from the well-dressed asshole role we all love him for. Even Foxx, who can strike people as somewhat pretentious at times, is hilarious as Motherfucker Jones.
But the real stars of the movie are the three leads. Bateman basically plays Michael Bluth with a deathwish, but it's what he does best. Sudeikis, too, plays the asshole/douchebag he's been known for on various SNL skits, but he's so good at it that you get over the fact that he's done this before. Finally, Charlie Day is the one that allows the movie to go off the rails -- in a good way -- several times in the film with ridiculous gags that only he could pull off. There isn't another actor in Hollywood who could pull off a character who's an accidental sex offender, a hopeless romantic in love, a dentist's assistant, and someone who refuses the advances of a half-naked Jennifer Aniston, all at the same time. If this isn't a coming out party for Day as an incredible comedic talent for the big screen, then clearly people aren't giving him the attention he deserves.
The plot isn't terrible. It actually takes the story in places you would never expect a movie like this to go, and that includes both raunch and fun plot devices. But it's definitely something that no one's tried before, and the relative inexperience of the three writers, as well as director Seth Gordon (Four Christmases, various episodes of The Office, Parks & Rec, and Modern Family) is definitely visible all throughout the movie. And if it wasn't for the improvisational skills of an amazing cast, it likely wouldn't be as funny either.
But thankfully, the cast is perfect. They're all hilarious, and they have a ridiculous amount of chemistry, considering the walks of life and acting they all come from. And because of this chemistry, and their comedic timing and hilarity, they more than pull of covering up a plot that might really hurt a movie that didn't have all these wonderful actors.
Is this another "Anchorman" or "Forty-Year-Old Virgin"? Probably not. While the plot is original, it does end up stemming into some typical areas as the film progresses, and the cast may even be a little TOO star-studded to really put it up next to such classes. But it definitely is one of the funnier and more refreshing comedies of the last few years, and a definite must-watch.
Horrible Bosses gets a Freshly Popped rating of 8.5 out of 10.