Horrible Bosses is really not a good movie. At best it’s passable but even then that is perhaps too kind. If you are looking for a good movie then look away. However if you’re looking for a recycled comedy with bland characters and tasteless humour then congratulations, because you have come to the right place.
The plot is simple, maybe too simple to justify a feature length film. Three best friends (played by Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day) enjoy their jobs except for one major problem, their bosses. Each, played by Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell respectively, make their individual lives so unbearable that they decide the ONLY way to be happy is to murder them. These white collar workers obviously have no idea how to go about this and seek help from a ‘professional’ (Jamie Foxx).
Now there are issues that can be gleaned straight of the bat from the synopsis alone without actually watching the film. For example the only black actor in the leading seven is playing the role of an ex-con. Obviously anything else would be a stretch of the imagination and not one the producers thought the audience could manage. It must be said though that there are two other black characters in the film in the roles of police officers. You know, because having double of those makes up for it, right? With Charlie Day in the cast as well you are sure to get lots of weak sexual and generally vulgar gags masked as ‘funny’ by his constant shouting.
Having six (seven if you count Jamie Foxx) main characters makes it difficult to explore any in real depth. We find out the odd detail like Day’s character being engaged but for the most part we know nothing about them. If the writers don’t care enough about them to add any backstory then how am I supposed to care about their troubles.
The ‘villains’ of the film feel like nothing more than exagerrated stock characters. Kevin Spacey plays the overused role of a pretentious office manager, but taken so far that it is almost like a pantomime. Jennifer Aniston is nothing more than eye candy in her nymphomaniacal role and Colin Farrell is just a homophobic cokehead. All three are great actors who are not utilised in any way, shape or form which was incredibly disappointing.
The worst aspect of the film though is without a doubt the humour. It attempts to follow the success of crude films like ‘The Hangover’ but fails dramatically through the severe over-reliance on crass sex jokes. It’s like the writers threw a bunch of sexual, homophobic, racist and drug related gags in without any real aims whatsoever hoping some would receive cheap laughs.
The only feeling I have towards this film is sympathy. Sympathy to the actors who did their best with an empty plot and weak script. Sympathy for the audience who hoped for a good movie, and sympathy to the people who get dragged along to the sequel.