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8.25 out of 10

Friday, July 8, 2011

Horrible Bosses

Working-Class Comedy

Director: Seth Gordon

Writers: Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein

Stars: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx

Horrible Bosses movie image

Watch Horrible BossesTrailer Now

SYNOPSIS: Three friends conspire to murder each other's horrible bosses.

REVIEW: Seth Gordon, director of such television hits as Modern Family, The Office and Community, brings to life the trials and tribulations of three friends with different jobs and a singular problem - they work for horrible bosses. Jason Bateman stars as Nick Hendricks who works for Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) with the false promise of advancement to a key position if Nick works endless hours. Charlie Day from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia plays Dale Arbus, a dental technician with a checkered past and an inappropriate aggressive black-mailing man-eater Dr. Juila Harris, D.D.S. (Jennifer Aniston) as a boss. Finally, Jason Sudeikis plays Kurt Buckman whose happy career at a chemical plant for a great boss (Donald Sutherland) goes south when the boss' son Bobby (Colin Farrell) takes over and wants to run the business into the ground with all the employees in it. The three friends, realizing that they can't just quit due to the recession, their pasts or their skill set, set out to hire a hit man to off their respective bosses. Enter Dean "M.F." Jones (Jamie Foxx) who will not kill the bosses for the trio, but who will provide "murder consultant services" for them so they can do the wet works themselves.

Bateman brings his Arrested Development defeatist angst to the gig. Sudeikis travels straight from Hall Pass with the same kookiness and disregard for the boundaries between the sexes. Charlie Day is equal parts brilliance and stupidity in his role. Spacey is a boss that I would be afraid of crossing. Aniston as a comical sexual predator (is there such a thing?) is gorgeous and devious, with piercing eyes and a rockin' body. And Colin Farrell, with his hair combed over his bald spot and his coked-up disregard for his fellow man (or pregnant woman), steals every scene he enters - similar to Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder.

Horrible Bosses is funny, although many of the best bits are in the commercials and trailers. Farrell, Day and Foxx provide the best laughs not previously seen. The situations the boys get themselves in are comedy all by themselves. Imagine the boys' surprise upon meeting a Wet Works specialist (Ioan Gruffudd) who supposedly will carry out the job for all three people for $200, or the amateur surveillance Nick, Kurt and Dale attempt in their bosses homes.

Not as memorable as The Hangover or Wedding Crashers as the ads may want you to believe, Horrible Bosses manages to capture the feelings that many have in their workplaces, but can not rate against all-time workplace struggle films like Office Space or 9 to 5. Even so, Horrible Bosses has enough in its story and characters to get a few laughs out of you if you ever get a day off.

WORTH: Matinee or Netflix

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