Horrible Bosses Directed by: Seth Gordon Cast: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell Running Time: 1 hr 40 mins Rating: R Release Date: July 8, 2011
PLOT: Three friends plan on murdering their terrible bosses. Problems arise.
WHO'S IT FOR? It's definitely R-rated, with raunchy language. The film is actually not that mean. I really expected it to be meaner.
EXPECTATIONS: Well, I just told you some of my expectations. Day and Sudeikis proved they are enough for me in Going the Distance. If you need proof, just watch the extras on that film. Adding Bateman, Spacey, Aniston and Farrell with this concept seems like a movie that can't miss.
Jason Bateman as Nick: It's classic Bateman. You know by now if you love that or not. Nick is a workaholic who is willing to take everything his boss Dave (Spacey) gives, all for a chance to be VP of Sales. He seems the most normal of the three, so his decision to go along with the idea of killing their bosses is a little surprising. Then again, Bateman roles his eyes, acts surprised and talks in that high voice so well, sometimes that's just good enough. Score: 7
Jason Sudeikis as Kurt Buckman: I was never fully aware of Burt Reynolds when I was at this apex as a sex symbol, but I think Sudeikis is somehow channeling him. Kurt is a horn dog, goofy, almost unaware, and did I mention he loves the ladies? It's not so much that we root for him in this film, but wonder what flippant comment he's going to make next. Sometimes it works, like when he's correcting Dale. Other times, like when he's talking to black guys, it doesn't work. Score: 7
Charlie Day as Dale Arbus: If you watch "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" you know how funny Day is. If you don't, Dale could be too much. When the guys are hanging out and just talking about their bosses, it's definitely the most amusing. I mean, complaining about Aniston hitting on you? Come on. His high-pitched voice (higher than Bateman's) will work on some, not on others. It's the make or break of this movie. Luckily, it does just enough for me since I'm a fan of "It's Always Sunny." Score: 7
Kevin Spacey as Dave Harken: While I feel this character eventually became flat and unfunny, that wasn't the case in the beginning. Sure he's channeling his Swimming with Sharks character, but I truly wanted to deck him. I mean, when Nick has the fantasy of tossing Dave out the window, I was right there with him. That's the power Spacey can still have on the screen. You enjoy that you want to kill him. It's too bad he lost that in the second half. Score: 7
Jennifer Aniston as Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S.: Julia's motivation is a little strained. It seems this character is going for laughs in an unrealistic situation. Julia desperately needing Dale needs to be a little more defined, or funny. Aniston has never been this dirty. It's one note, but it's a pretty good note. I would easily take this performance instead of Love Happens, but that doesn't mean much. Score: 6
TALKING: Three voiceovers start things off from Nick, Kurt and Dale. It's a good way to know we're following three, not a lead and some others. Jamie Foxx shows up in a role only built for laughs and it doesn't really deliver, besides his character's name of MF Jones. When the guys are adding two cents like Dale saying, "I bet he has a gun that screws together" is great, because it taps into average guys in an insane situation. The bigger moments, like Dale channeling "Law and Order" feel like they've been done before. I definitely chuckled a lot, but there were no tears of laughter. Score: 7
SIGHTS: The ending car chase seems to have come from a poor-man's Due Date. That's not a good thing at all. I didn't mention Colin Farrell yet because I feel like he didn't have much of a part, but that come over hair style was classic. Aniston is hot. If you have a pulse, you'll notice this as well. Score: 6
SOUNDS: "How You Like Me Now?" from The Heavy plays through a montage. It's getting to the point where this song is in every movie, almost instead of James Brown classics. I LOVE this song, but it doesn't feel original at all when it shows up. Spoon's "Underdog" starts the movie off, and again, I love the song but it's been done. The musical score is unfortunately very forced. It's way too spot on trying to fulling explain "angry talk" or "quirky talk" with musical notes and it just gets in the way. Score: 6
BEST SCENE: Dale, Kurt and Nick are all talking to MF Jones, but it almost looks like they are talking to us. Kurt brings up Stranger on a Train, and Dale thinks he's talking about Throw Momma from the Train. Comic gold.
ENDING: Weak. It felt like an '80s quick wrap up flick where they don't try to get into the actual problems (like killing bosses is wrong) and Horrible Bosses just cleans up nice and quick with the help of Gregory. After that STAY, there are outtakes.
QUESTIONS: Dale has a fiancee, right? Does she matter to him? That doesn't really matter. If you're already talking about registered sex offenders and rape, why does this feel light?
REWATCHABILITY: Yes, mainly because you know there are many deleted scenes that will be worth checking out on Blu-ray. This movie has the chance to grow much the same way the first Hangover film did.
Three guys, in over their heads, are trying to save their assess from ill advised decisions. I just described The Hangover, The Hangover Part II and Horrible Bosses.
They all have the same fault. Reality comes in to play when they want it to. They want us to think these are average guys and this could happen to anyone, until it couldn't.
It might sound like I'm a little down on Horrible Bosses. Read my EXPECTATIONS again, "seems like a movie that can't miss." I assumed these guys would find the funny. I hoped they would find it in bunches and maybe even take it to new heights. The language in Bosses is dark. The actions don't back it up. Plus, Farrell and Aniston are one-note. It's like they had this amazing All-Star cast and didn't want to screw it up. They didn't want to risk a flop. It's better than The Hangover Part II, mainly because I like these three a little bit better than that trio. But it's not as good as The Hangover because of the risk factor.
While Horrible Bosses is good, it just isn't great. I complain only because I care. What are you going to do, fire me?
FINAL SCORE: 7/10