Horrible Bosses


9 to 5 – In Hell

Main Cast: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day

With: Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell

Director: Seth Gordon

Everyone, at one point or another, is going to have a horrible boss.  Or teacher, or co-worker, or some person from whom they cannot escape yet cannot abide.  Most of us just grin and bear it until we can get out of the situation.  But what if you can’t?  What if you’re stuck with a horrible person – far more horrible than anything you can imagine – and you can never, ever get away?  Perhaps you might decide that they need to be “removed”.  And right there is the premise for Horrible Bosses.

As an avowed Jason Bateman devotee I was going to see this no matter what the reviews said.  Some of the reviews sort of liked it.  Others really did not.  But no matter – it has Bateman!  And I can say that for Bateman, the movie is worth the price…of a rental.  Let’s not get carried away.

Bateman is accompanied by Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day as the beleaguered employees of horrible bosses.  Neil (Bateman) is hounded by finance tyrant Kevin Spacey, Dale (Day) is sexually harassed by dentist boss Jennifer Aniston and Kurt (Sudeikis) is a new boss hater, having seen his beloved boss replaced by the man’s horrific son played by an absolutely foul and nearly unrecognizable Colin Farrell.  That right there is something you could call a “Dream Cast” and in all but one instance the film takes full advantage.

Quite a bit of the initial fun of the movie is witnessing the tyrannical bosses do their worst.  These aren’t run of the mill horrible bosses, they’re the royalty of horrible bosses.  Spacey threatens and humiliates and works Bateman half to death.  Aniston is crude and vulgar and disgusting in her sexual advances.  And Farrell is hysterically abusive with his drugs and girls and partying with the express purpose of destroying the company his father built.  Our poor heroes, they can see nothing but bleak futures stuck in employment hell.  Unless, of course, they kill the bastards.

Of course they plan to kill the bastards – it’s the entire point of the movie.  We get to watch their fumbling, bumbling attempts to rid the world of these pestilent pedagogues and of course their plans go awry and spin wildly out of control.  That’s when we laugh.  Sometimes.

Generally speaking, though perfectly formulaic and predictable, the actors make Horrible Bosses worth watching.  Bateman, of course (playing Jason Bateman as always), but I also really enjoyed Spacey’s brilliant evil and Charlie Day’s manic goofiness.  What I most definitely did not enjoy on any level whatsoever was Jennifer Aniston.  In fact, the movie loses an entire star due to her revolting character.  She’s not funny; she’s nothing but vulgar and gross.  It isn’t completely Aniston’s fault – the character is badly written.  But she doesn’t help any with her gleefully foul performance.  She’s disgusting.  Someone got this role mixed up with their 1970s porn.

But overall, Horrible Bosses is a decent enough watch.  It’s funny enough to remain entertaining and has just a little bit of suspense – you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen next, even though the outcome is never really on doubt.  The fun is in the journey, as they say.  At least the part without Jennifer Aniston. 3 stars out of 5.

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