Horrible Bosses is a fairly timely comedy about three friends (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day) who love their jobs but hate their respective bosses (Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston) and feel the only way their lives will get better is if they kill their employers. Of course, nothing goes according to plan. It has a strong cast and everyone seems to be having a good time, particularly the bosses themselves. This one gets bonus points from me for having Charlie Day of Always Sunny fame and everything could use more Charlie Day. Also, I encountered a boss that wasn’t too far off from Colin Farrell’s character, only missing the illegal activity and the martial arts obsession.
I remember when this came out, many were confused why the protagonists would go to such great lengths when they could just quit their jobs but the film does a very good job at making the stakes very high, with two characters being told their bosses will make sure to ruin their reputations if they quit and Sedeikis’ boss making deals that will danger the environment. Aniston’s character even tries to blackmail Day’s character into sleeping with her. The three bumble their way through devising a plan with help of the most dangerous guy they can get to talk to them, Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx) who acts tough but ends up having a very tame rap sheet.
You can really tell this film was a treat to make for the cast. The three bosses are so over the top awful, who wouldn’t want to act that badly with no consequences? This isn’t the first time Spacey played a boss so terrible he inspired his underlings to cause him bodily harm (See his performance in Swimming With Sharks) and he hurls insults with the best of them, but for Farrell and Aniston, these characters were a change of pace. Farrell had dropped out of the spotlight after a string of disappointing films, and returns as the almost unrecognizable Bobby Pellitt. Bald and paunchy, Farrell is a far cry from his usual charming self. It reminded everyone how much fun he is to watch, allowing him to return to leading man roles in big blockbusters life the upcoming Total Recall remake. And Jennifer Aniston is anything but the girl next door as she sexually harasses her assistant played by Day. She’s raunchy, getting all the most jaw dropping bits of dialogue and makes every action uncomfortably sexual. It’s roles like this one that make we think Aniston may be cooler than her typical film persona makes her out to be. Bateman, Sudeikis, and Day are what you expect but they gel well as longtime friends even though in real life they wouldn’t be the right ages to be former classmates.
Good movie to watch after a stressful day at work. Very relatable plot for these troubled economic times. While not a stand-out, it’s an enjoyable 98 minutes with a solid cast.