The premise is simple: three dudes subjected to daily torture by their bosses band together to help kill each other’s employer. The levelheaded, hesitant-at-first-but-then-accepts-the-ludicrously-dangerous-operation guy is played by Jason Bateman, whose boss is played by Kevin Spacey (with his usual “Kevin Spacey-ness”), a self-rewarding “Total Fucking Asshole.” The second “boss killer” is the horndog ladies man played by SNL cast member Jason Sudeikis, whose last well-respected boss (Donald Sutherland) is replaced by his son (Colin Farrell), a cocaine-addicted balding jerk who would wish harm to an entire people for petty cash. Lastly, the neurotic moron is played by Charlie Day, whose boss (Jennifer Aniston) continually makes lewd and offensive sexual remarks and gestures toward him despite the fact that he is engaged. The three hire a hitman (with the greatest name ever) played by Jamie Foxx, who acts as an advisor on how to kill their respective employers.
The movie has a dark premise, but the actors have such good fun with it that the particularly morbid subject of murder feels farcical and funny. The entire cast is working at their top comedic efforts, and some jokes, which may not have landed a laugh before, hit spot on due to the likes of these talents. There are certainly many lines in this film that are destined to be repeated. The three lead guys are pretty equal in laugh counts, each bringing their own style and personality into the picture. I also think the bosses were great too; Aniston is really breaking her label of “America’s Sweetheart” in this one and Kevin Spacey always makes for a great prick. My biggest disappointment was that Colin Farrell’s character, one that showed a great deal of promise in certain scenes (and the trailer), is criminally underused – before the movie I was anticipating his role quite a bit and it’s a letdown that he’s not featured in the film very much.
Although most of the lines stick and the rapid succession with which funny moments pop up ensures at least a chuckle every once in a while, I did have some problems with Horrible Bosses. It’s hard to watch this movie and not think of other recent comedies like The Hangover (three friends, a dangerous adventure with cops on their trail, raunchy humor); a pet peeve of mine in recent comedy movies is the unnecessary car chase scene, and of course this movie had to have one. Many little things throughout the film took me out my overall enjoyment of the picture; I could tell that this movie was trying to pander to that “wide audience” demographic and the car chase is indicative of that. I also wish that certain scenes would have gone farther with the already dark concept, that the film’s ‘R’ rating could have been pushed even further into more daring territory. At the end of the day however, Horrible Bosses is a solid mainstream (albeit dark) comedy that is quotable, raunchy, and fun.