Horrible Bosses, 2011, USA
Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) all hate their bosses (Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell). After joking about killing their bosses over drinks, the three friends decide that killing their three bosses is a viable possibility. However, their plans go awry and the three friends find themselves in trouble with the law.
The acting was the highlight of the film. I really appreciated the performances by the cast, especially by the bosses. Aniston in particular was a stand out, as she played a character far different from any character she’s played before. The three protagonists have good chemistry and I found them generally likable. Understandably, the film is very dark so likability is an important factor. Of the three protagonists, Day stands out the most as Dale. His character was the most memorable and he got the most laughs from me.
I did find the plot left quite a bit to be desired. It didn’t feel original, and relied far too heavily on the characters being painted into a corner. One was a convicted sex offender and couldn’t get a job elsewhere – which was ridiculous and stupid. It was a weak way to make it seem like murdering their bosses was their only option.
I didn’t care for most of the comedy, either. It relied far too heavily on gross out humour, and it awkwardly straddled the line between dark and juvenile humour. There were scenes that made me laugh, but they were the darker moments during the film. I think the humour would have been more successful if they’d fully owned the premise and threw out the more juvenile moments. Telling racist, homophobic and sexist jokes is not “dark”, in my mind, and the film would have been so much better if they’d gone in a different direction. And, frankly, most of the “offensive” jokes in the movie weren’t all that funny. They were potentially “shocking”, but they didn’t make me laugh.
Horrible Bosses wasn’t a terrible movie, but I didn’t think it was overly good, either. It was mediocre, and it might be worth watching if you see it on TV one day.
Apparently a sequel is being written because Horrible Bosses was successful enough to warrant one. Seriously? Why does every successful comedy need a sequel nowadays? As the credits rolled, the thought of a sequel was far from my mind and I have no bloody idea how they are going to make a sequel work. I can’t imagine it’ll be any good.