Horrible Bosses is one of a spate of films that draw on the current economic uncertainty. Three bumbling idiots fed up with their abusive bosses decide that, in the current climate, it makes more sense to kill their boss rather than look for another job.
Jason Bateman is the eager but timid corporate guy whose main role is being a verbal punching bag for his pig of a boss Kevin Spacey. Jason Sudeikis has to endure his sleazy, coke snorting, toxic waste dumping boss Colin Farrell while dental assistant Charlie Day is the victim of sexual harassment from dentist Jennifer Aniston.
This is basically The Hangover in the workplace: a decent guy (Bateman), an irresponsible twit (Sudeikis) and a hairy idiot (Day) frantically trying to worm their way out of awkward and sometimes life-threatening situations.
The whole cast do their usual shtick which is fine, Bateman in particular has a deft touch with the droll comic observation. It’s a little odd, though, seeing an actor of the calibre of Spacey in this sort of mall fodder but from his role in Swimming with Sharks he has some form as a corporate sleaze. It also takes a while to get used to the wholesome Jen as a sex predator but she’s a good enough comic actor to make her brief performance memorable. Colin Farrell is too over the top, though, with his prosthetic bald skull cap, comb-over and coke fuelled mania, he’s like some little brother to Tom Cruise’s character in Tropic Thunder. Jamie Foxx also chimes in with an amusing cameo as an obscenely named murder consultant.
The main problem with this film is that the script isn’t particularly funny. Too much time is spent with the three guys bickering and with squeaky-voiced Day throwing hissy fits. With few genuinely funny moments, the film relies on politically incorrect shocks to rouse the audience although these are pretty tame compared with films like The Hangover. Also, for a film that purports to be edgy and street smart there are some hoary old gags including the overweight woman mistaken for pregnant.
There’s enough star power and action in this film to make it watchable but you’ll enjoy it better on a beer and pizza night at home with some buddies rather than shelling out the big ones at the multiplex.