Saturday, 17 March 2012

Review of the Week: Horrible Bosses

Ok, so I had my doubts, what with the dubious title leaving little to the imagination of what the plot line might be. But I was pleasantly surprised. Horrible Bosses, directed by Seth Gordon, was not horrible at all. In fact, I really, really enjoyed it!

Settling down between a friend and a mountain full of popcorn, I had originally agreed, or should I hastily admit, that I had intended to watch Bridesmaids with my female companion, so deciding on Horrible Bosses was what I call a risk. A risk worth taking though! The opening scene introduces three guys; Nick, Dale and Kurt (played by Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis respectively) at work, where their three bosses played by an ensemble cast featuring Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey and Colin Farrell. All three bosses make their lives in the workplace a living nightmare, be it for different reasons. In order to stop them from quitting and facing an antagonising ordeal going from place to place trying to find a job - perhaps the only realistic part of the film - they all agree to ‘kill’ their bosses and relieve themselves of the troublesome trio.

Right, so three people who try to kill their bosses. Who hasn’t contemplated that before, right? Obviously, in the land of Hollywood, these are not your usual bosses. Dave Harkin (Spacey) plays the role of the big-ego, money-loaded boss who manipulates Nick (Bateman) to such an extent that, ok, murder might be considered acceptable. Although Bateman adds little to the role, Spacey creates a rather chilling persona to his character, a menace who help creates the films highest tension stealer when he murders Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell), which puts a spanner in the films narrative to say the least.
Farrell also creates a unique persona, a drug and sex fuelled manager who apart from the money involved, has no intentions to succeed, much to Kurt’s (Sudeikis) anger. Farrel’s performance could be stronger., despite it being claimed the role of Bobby was formed on Farrell’s own requests, particularly the appearance. Although on further inspection, I would argue the character’s ‘Rock’n’Roll’ habits might be more similar to the real-life conquests of Farrell’s turbulent personal life.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was with the third boss, the sex-obsessed dentist, Dr Julia Harris, played by a shockingly good Jennifer Aniston. Not only is it one of the more amusing performances from Jennifer Aniston’s patchy repertoire, but all the sexual chemistry and aggression played out on screen as the sex-pest doctor creates one almighty laugh-out-loud scene, instigated by both actors equally. But like Farrell, she seems to be using her personal life, or should that be lack of one, to truly instigate a very different yet likeable character, who myself, and possibly many other men, would love to have as their boss!

The narrative counteracts tension with humour, and with the three main men offering an alternative to the ‘three musketeers’ typecast in recent films like The Hangover - where a few similarities can be made - ultimately the film provides a unique Black comedy. One actor to commend is Charlie Day. With his squeaky voice and lacklustre persona, his performance is putting him on course with Zach Galifianakis as the next best thing in American comedy. Although arguably, the supporting cast - that also includes Donald Sutherland and Jamie Foxx - initiated the biggest response in terms of humour from the audience.

Altogether, this quirky film may play on some stereotypical elements of recent American comedy, but what entails is a film full of surprises, amusement and bags of humour which unsurprisingly, has proved a box office hit and a must see film.

4/5 Stars.


  1. my brother fancies jennifer aniston.
    Not sure why I'm telling you this.

  2. Haha really, thanks. I can't stand her personally, but she was quite appealing in this film!