Horrible Bosses (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/07/2011

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 98 mins

Enjoyable comedy that succeeds thanks to strong comic performances and a string of funny gags, though it also frequently squanders its potential and a little bit of depth would have gone a long way.

What's it all about?
Directed by Seth Gordon (The King of Kong), Horrible Bosses stars Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day as Nick, Kurt and Dale, three best friends whose lives are tormented on a daily basis by their respective horrible bosses: double-crossing Harken (Kevin Spacey), sleazy, coke-snorting Pellitt (Colin Farrell, almost unrecognisable with a paunch and a bald wig) and voracious sexual harassment nightmare Julia (Jennifer Aniston). When the three friends reach the end of their collective tethers, they decide to murder each other's bosses, but nothing goes quite according to plan.

The Good
The performances are excellent, particularly Aniston, who has never been hotter and is clearly enjoying herself as the evil, sexually voracious dentist; she should definitely play evil more often, so hopefully this is the start of a glorious new career phase. Similarly, Spacey delivers his best performance in quite some time and Farrell really throws himself into his role, while the three leads spark off each other nicely, even if Day's whiny, high-pitched voice does begin to grate after, oh, about fifteen minutes.

There's also strong comic support from Jamie Foxx as “murder consultant” Motherfucker Jones, Wendell Pierce as a cynical detective and Julie Bowen as Harken's nymphomaniac wife, though both Donald Sutherland and Lindsay Sloane are underused as Pellitt's boss and Dale's fiancee, respectively. In addition, the script has several good lines, the comic set pieces are nicely handled (particularly the sequence in Pellitt's house) and Gordon maintains a steady stream of decent gags throughout.

The Bad
The main problem is that the script seems actively afraid of depth and frequently veers away from potential developments, ignoring the possibility of a much darker black comedy in favour of relatively obvious, unchallenging gags. It's also weirdly prudish – for example, Sudeikis' character has sex with at least three women during the course of the film (two of whom are important to the plot), yet we don't even see so much as a flashback, let alone a flash of anything else.

Worth seeing?
Horrible Bosses is an enjoyable comedy that works thanks to strong comic performances from a superb ensemble cast, even if the script is often frustratingly shallow. Worth seeing though.

Film Trailer

Horrible Bosses (15)
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Content updated: 13/12/2017 16:40

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