Monday, July 11, 2011

Horrible Bosses

A trend has taken over two of Hollywood’s most profitable genres.

The Ring, while devilishly scary and somewhat brilliant, stalled the horror genre in PG-13 nonsense. But with reboots (Friday the 13th, Halloween) and torture porn franchises like Saw and Final Destination making their budget back and then some, the R-rated horror flick, for better or worse, is back for blood.

And for every hacked limp and spilled intestine a Saw movie dishes out, the new slew of R-rated comedies match in dick jokes and literal shit-your-pants antics. You can credit The Hangover for proving to studios that people still love raunchy dialogue, kinkily awkward sex and the varying art of making flatulence sound funny.

Most of the time, these new trends fail to produce a worthwhile film, but in the rarest of cases, as with Bridesmaids and now Horrible Bosses, the R-rated comedy has every right to let its freak flag fly.

Horrible Bosses is essentially a contemporary spin on Hitchcock’s Stranger’s on a Train (which the film proudly makes direct note of). Instead of two strangers agreeing to kill each other’s enemies, we have three best friends willing to knock off each other’s bosses.

Jason Bateman (in arguably is best Jason-Bateman-talks-really-fast-with-perfect-timing role since Arrested Development) is sick of his demonic boss, played by Kevin Spacey (basically revisiting his Swimming with Sharks character circa 2011, which is a compliment). Charlie Day (having a blast doing all the things he can’t do on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), wants his sex-pot boss (a perfectly against-type Jennifer Anniston) gone. While Jason Sudeikis (miles away from the staleness of Hall Pass) wants his cokehead boss (scene stealer Colin Farrell, sporting the worst haircut in film since Javier Bardem in No County for Old Men) out of the equation.

It’d be fruitless to explain all the absurd situations these three find themselves in; you’re far better off seeing for yourself. But I will say that their inexperience leads them to many uncomfortable situations, most hilariously with a murder consultant (Jamie Foxx) whose character name is as good as any I’ve heard in the last 10 years.
If there’s one fault with the film, it’s the fact that Jennifer Anniston, and particularly Colin Farrell, are grossly underused. While Kevin Spacey bites hard into his meaty role, I would’ve loved to have seen more of Anniston’s ridiculously foul-mouthed dentist, and Farrell’s hilariously un-PC, douchebag chemical salesman. If Farrell had been given as much screen time as Spacey, I’d be calling for an Oscar nomination. It’s an incredible comic performance, fit perfectly into a completely uproarious film that is more than worthy of sporting an R rating. B+


  1. I was cracking up reading your discussion about how The Hangover proved awkward sex, dropping a load in your pants and fart jokes were funny.

    Welcome (officially) to the LAMB.

  2. Nice review, I enjoyed the film as well.

    Hope you like the LAMB - thanks for joining.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. @Duke - I'm really digging the LAMB so far. So much great stuff on there.

  4. I thought this was pretty funny. Bateman, Day and Sudeikis had really great chemistry and Aniston, Spacey, and Farrell were all pretty evil and villainous as the bosses. I did wish it would have gotten a bit darker with it’s subject at certain times but overall, pretty good I thought. Good Review! Check out mine when you can!