Let’s off the boss
Director: Seth Gordon ( Four Holidays) Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell EMPLOYERS. Can’t live with ’ em. Might as well kill ’ em. So goes the logic behind Horrible
Bosses, a disposable yet not - sodismissible new comedy. As farfetched and filthy-minded as the film often gets, there is a subversive universal appeal in play that keeps any lingering doubts at bay.
Anyone carrying about too much workplace angst right now will find the right place to channel all that negative energy right here. Also boosting the resume of
Horrible Bosses are its two distinct sets of lead players, both quite amusing in different but complementary ways.
In one corner, we have the mortally offended 9-to-5ers.
In the other, their mightily offensive superiors.
Let’s start with the working schlubs first. Nick ( Jason Bateman), Kurt ( Jason Sudeikis) and Dale ( Charlie Day) have been friends since high school and have all graduated to jobs that have hit the same dead-end. Blocking their way are three of the most vocationally evil souls to ever secure an executive car space.
So say hello to the Horrible Bosses, people. They may not be with us for that much longer.
Dave Harken ( Kevin Spacey) is a corporate psychotic who hates Nick as much as he loves taking credit for all his hard work.
Bobby Pellitt ( Colin Farrell) is into cocaine, call girls and cutting Kurt out of any claim to a vacant managerial slot.
Julia Harris ( Jennifer Aniston) is a nymphomaniac dentist who turns up the sexual harassment heat on her assistant nurse Dale at every opportunity.
While Nick, Kurt and Dale can hardly be described as stone-cold-killer types, once they flirt with the idea of terminating their bosses, they just can’t let it go.
With the aid of a self-styled ‘‘ murder consultant’’ ( a magnificently deranged Jamie Foxx, playing a character whose unprintable name is one of the standout gags of the picture), the scheme to off those rotten employers is on.
Once its loopy premise is locked down, any pretence to substance by
Horrible Bosses is hastily abandoned. Nevertheless, its excellent cast – all of whom make the most of their moments in the spotlight – go about their business in fine style.
In particular, Spacey, who has proven form playing an abusive office despot in Swimming With Sharks, is arrestingly, absurdly despicable.
A thoroughly committed Aniston ( playing against type and good taste) also leaves a major mark in a relatively minor role.
The consistently stressed and messed-up interplay between Bateman, Sudeikis and Day gives up some of the best blokey banter heard since the original The Hangover.