Friday, July 8, 2011
This summer is proving to be a good one for wise-ass comedies (that apparently aren't sequels). First Bridesmaids became the number one grossing female-oriented qualifier-heavy R-rated comedy of all time, and now the fellas are giving it a go with the raunchy Office Space-like revenge flick on all Horrible Bosses.
This bromantic comedy dream team unites Charlie Day, Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis (on the come-up from the disastrous Hall Pass). The trio star as working stiffs stuck in dead-end jobs with quite possibly the silver screen's worst bosses, ever. Nick (Bateman) is belittled and humiliated on a daily basis by his horrid boss Harken (Kevin Spacey). Dale is a dentist's assistant who is sexually harassed by his foxy superior, Dr. Harris (Jennifer Aniston). And Kurt has the unfortunate luck of having his former boss and chum die suddenly, leaving him to deal with his crazy cokehead son as a boss Pellitt (Colin Farrell). In this recession, the guys realize they can't up and leave their desperate schmo posts on a dime, so naturally they come to the conclusion that they only way out is to kill these bullies, one by one, with the help of a makeshift hitman (played by Jamie Foxx).
So, of course, a comedy of errors ensues since these everyday guys are the last you'd think could pull of such a dirty task. And man is it fun to watch it unfold. Day, who we can bet on seeing more of on the big screen soon, is hilarious to watch as the bumbling fool who couldn't smooth-talk his way out of speeding ticket. His steady stream of fearful, piss-in-his-pants ad libs rival some of the best seasoned comedians. Bateman's signature deadpan humor works well here as the appointed straight guy who tries his hardest not to be a part of his buddies' shenanigans while secretly spearheading the whole operation. And Sudeikis, the hornball of the crew, can't seem to keep his pants up long enough to focus on keeping the operation from falling to pieces.
And Aniston, Spacey, and Farrell surely do keep them on their toes. Dr. Harris is a hilarious character to watch, but Aniston was just not the woman for the job. She played the part alright, except for the "foxy" part. She's just too stiff to play sexy. Another actress would have gone further and blew the part out the water. Spacey's Harken was the devil of bosses--homicidal, loose cannon, at best--and Spacey was frighteningly hilarious. His versatility as an actor will never cease to amaze audiences. Same with Farrell, whose talent just keeps surprising you. His wild nature exhilarated Pellitt, who will keep audiences in stitches the whole movie. The random comb-over alone is enough to make you burst out laughing, never mind the random hookers and stash of cocaine in an ashtray. Lastly, Foxx was entertaining the improable hitman, but he should really be getting better roles than this at this point in his career (remember Due Date?).
Though it's being described as a raunchy comedy, Horrible Bosses isn't really all that raunchy as, say, Bridesmaids or The Hangover. But it's funny, without trying to be funny, which makes it a bit more clever than its competition. These guys have just had it, they're at the end of their rope and they think they've just come up with the best plan ever. We all may have not had murderous thoughts, or our boss might have not gone as far as to try to run us off the road, but we can probably all relate to having a terrible boss. These guys just do something about it; something way more entertaining than what we'd ever do.