A farcical, dark comedy about three guys whose bosses rank high on the intolerable scale, Horrible Bosses moves the oppressed employees’ workday fantasies into extreme reality.
Jason Sudeikis, co-starring as an accountant at a chemical company, plus Jason Bateman, playing a guy who has no life beyond the work he does days, nights and weekends for an impossible to please boss, and Charlie Day, a dental assistant whose female boss harasses him with sexual advances, all feel pushed to the edge.
After another miserable day at work, Sudeikis, Bateman and Day share their pain over beer. As bad as things, they cite numerous reasons why they can’t quit their jobs. These include the slumping economy and the promise Bateman’s boss makes that, if he quits, he’ll never work in his chosen profession again thanks to the damage his vengeful ex-boss will inflict upon his reputation.
So what recourse is left for these trapped victims of workplace abuse? Hire a hit man to kill the awful bosses.
Horrible Bosses is rated R, in part for crude content and sexual content. Most of the latter comes from former Friends star Jennifer Aniston as Dr. Julia Harris, the dentist who sexually harasses Day and threatens to ruin his engagement. Just as the abusive dentist throws herself at Day, Aniston hurls herself into her role’s nastiness. The actress’ commitment is admirable, but the raunchy results aren’t so much funny as simply crude.
Aniston is part of an exceptional cast in an unexceptional movie. Kevin Spacey, ruling his character’s company in the manner of a Middle Eastern despot, co-stars as Bateman’s sadistic superior.
Spacey is good at being bad, but the grim payoff, again, lacks laughs.
A nearly unrecognizable Colin Ferrell co-stars as the remaining bad boss. Sudeikis’ cross to bear, Ferrell’s drug addict character inherits his father’s company following his good-as-gold dad’s accidental death.
The A-list Horrible Bosses cast continues with the film’s most genuinely funny character, a recently sprung ex-convict played by Jamie Foxx. Stealing every scene he’s in, Oscar-winner Foxx extracts deliciously sly and subtle comedy from his relatively minor role. And while there are a few laughs elsewhere in the movie, nowhere does the film light up as it does when Foxx is on screen.