Rated R for Really make sure you're age-appropriate
You know when a movie has a funny premise, looks hilarious from the trailer, and has a fantastic cast but can't follow-through on its potential?
Well THANK GOODNESS Horrible Bosses is nothing like that.
After some "not good at all" comedies this summer (No Strings Attached, The Hangover Part 2, Just Go With It) and some "not bad, could have been great" comedies (Paul, Bad Teacher), it's nice to see a hilarious movie that has relatability in the face of a completely outrageous premise.
The story is one we are all probably familiar with: three longtime friends hate their jobs only because they have insane bosses that are making everything hellish for them. From the very beginning of the film, the bosses' roles are directly laid out. Nick (Jason Bateman) has the psychotic and evil boss (Kevin Spacey), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) has the cokehead and incompetent boss (Colin Farrell), and Dale (Charlie Day) has the sexual predator boss... DDS (Jennifer Aniston).
The idea of murder comes in hypothetical form during a night out after yet another awful day at work: Would the guys kill their bosses if they knew they would get away with it?
I don't want to give too much more away but obviously they end up attempting the murders. And because the characters are so adorably stupid, hijinks ensue.
Screenwriters Michael Markowitz, Jonathan M. Goldstein and John Francis Daley (from Freeks and Geeks and Bones) strike gold with their intelligent mixture of dirty and dark humor with a bit a sweet naivety thrown in. The editing and flow of the film is fast and smooth; in 100 minutes we get a several different kinds of jokes while wrapping up the story quite well.
The cast here is fantastic. There's great chemistry between the trio of men in an almost minimum to maximum range of comedic delivery and timing. Jason Bateman is the king of subtle, sarcastic humor, Jason Sudeikis adds easy charm and with a hint of insanity, and Charlie Day's has a frenetic craziness that provides balance with the other men. The bosses are no less worthy of appreciation. Kevin Spacey is fantastic in a role he's familiar playing: a psychopath. It's absolute genius. Colin Farrell is very brave to play such an offensive and ugly character and pulls it off completely and it's refreshing to see Jennifer Aniston FINALLY playing against type. Jamie Foxx also gives a nice cameo performance as the trio's self-titled "murder consultant" with an inappropriate first name.
But it's not all sunny, positive words for the film. While the script is effective, the story is extremely cliched. The men get into some situations that don't make sense even in the film's skewed view of reality but the results are almost always predictable. And we don't get the answers to some questions that are brought up throughout the film. But it's easy to ignore the faults. Horrible Bosses is consistently funny, dark, and one of the better comedies of the year.