July 10, 2011

Horrible Bosses

"I'm gonna kill him" is an expression that's become an everyday occurrence. Of course, the rest of us probably don't have psychotic, borderline rapist cokeheads for bosses. Or maybe some of you do. I don't know where you work.

Anyway, this is the premise of Seth Gordon's new film Horrible Bosses. Basically, these three guys - Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman), Dale Arbus (Charlie Day of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis of SNL) - have had enough. Each of their bosses are totally insane. 
Nick, who works in finance, works for Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), a crazy evil psychotic man who refuses to allow anyone into higher level positions while simultaneously torturing Nick with his evil ways. Not so fun. Meanwhile, Dale is a dental assistant to Dr. Julia Harris, DDS (Jennifer Aniston), who consistently grabs his crotch and tries to force him to have sex with her. Which doesn't seem too bad because Jennifer Aniston has never looked sexier in a film, except that Dale is engaged. And then there's Kurt, who works at a chemical company for Jack Pellitt (a Donald Sutherland cameo - very high profile), who is simply the nicest man in the world. Until he dies and his son Bobby (Colin Farrell), a coked up crazy partier who just wants to milk the company for all the money left in it, takes over.

Ok, so the bosses are crazy - but what drives their employees to kill them? In this fairly generic and derivative script, each of them have a metaphorical straw that breaks the camel's back. The plot had a fun premise, yet the pacing was somewhat slow and the directing itself was, in my opinion, somewhat sloppy and couldn't really save a fairly poorly set up script.

Still, I found myself laughing quite a lot. Even though I know this isn't one of the great comedies (I think that this year's best comedy has to be Bridesmaids) yet somehow, the film managed to transcend a poorly paced story. The dialogue itself was extremely clever and funny and dripping with acid and managed to make me forget that even though the story was getting boring, the characters were hilarious thanks to some stellar performances.

Bateman, Day and Sudeikis nailed their roles and had great timing (although Day may have been a bit over the top). Even though they are trying to murder people, they still remain fairly likeable. Throughout the film, mistake after mistake leads them further down the path of the bumbling idiots who can't murder their bosses, despite the bosses being fairly easily killable. Yes, I just made up that word.

But the true standouts of the film are the bosses. Spacey has never been more horrible and scary and angry and I honestly feel like Harken would easily beast Keyser Soze in a fight, so that's pretty crazy. He's sadistic and masochistic and behind every look you can feel the hate and anger in his eyes. Chilling. Farrell is hilarious in his role and, as kind of a sleaze himself, does a great job of playing one onscreen. Props to the makeup artist who managed to turn the stud into a balding, gross little man. The biggest surprise of all, however, was Aniston, who stole every scene she was in. She was perfect in the role and really helped make the movie. For her, after a series of drab romantic comedies in which she played the exact same character over and over again, this role was fresh and exciting and has the ability to really revitalize her film career (which wasn't failing, she just chose bad movies to be in).

Also of note was Jamie Foxx as Motherfucker Jones, the murder consultant for the three protagonists. 

Overall, the plot was shaky with major loopholes, but the film itself was dark, fun and crazy, making it a great summer comedy. Probably a B.

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