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Film Review: Horrible Bosses

Jul 13, 2011 05:05AM, Published by Wendy Sipple, Categories: In Print




Three friends, Nick, Kurt, and Dale have horrible bosses, thus the title, and during a night at a bar commiserating about their situations decide to have their bosses murdered. The rest of the film chronicles their misguided attempts at finding a hitman to staging an accidental death. Ultimately the trio finds themselves in a lot of trouble to dig themselves out of.

This summer has been filled with a variety of R rated comedies, headlined by the excellent Bridesmaids. Horrible Bosses is a worthy addition to the R rated fun this summer. The plot is fun and the movie packs plenty of laughs. The cast is top notch, particularly the horrible bosses as Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Anniston, and Colin Ferrell all get a chance to shine in their roles. Especially Anniston, who’s movies I have not enjoyed by in large, but here she may steal the show as the sexually charged boss. Jamie Fox also turns in a supporting role that is fun too as Mr. Jones, a murder advisor.
The main trio of Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis , and Charlie Day work very well together. In fact their chemistry really makes the movie work. Bateman plays the straight man role very well and Jason Sudeikis continues his “horn dog” best buddy shtick seen earlier in the year in Hall Pass. The director, Seth Gordon, who is a veteran director of several top notch comedy TV shows, demonstrates he has a good knack for comic pacing here. The movie flows smoothly, keeping the laughs coming regularly.
I do have two complaints about the film. The first is that the set up of the bosses is not strong enough. Sure the bosses are creeps, but the three men’s lives are not shown to be affected enough, especially for the men to want to murder them. Although Anniston was great in her role, I can’t help to think what if Betty White was the sexually charged boss blackmailing Dale? That would be creepy and funny in a whole different and over the top way that would make his death wish against her more understandable to the audience. Same with Kurt who has to work too many hours and is promised a promotion he does not get. If we were shown that his dedication to his work cost him his family, or his health it may help strengthen the death wish against his terrible boss.
My second complaint is that the Horrible Bosses never seems willing to take their jokes all the way. Aside from a hilarious recon/break in scene, that pays off well later in the film too, the movie pulls its punches. So while the movie is good and funny it could have easily have been great and hilarious and that is slightly frustrating.
Overall Horrible Bosses is a lot of fun that office workers will have fun viewing together. Everyone at least once in their lifetime has had a boss they did not get along with so the idea is certainly somewhat relatable. It will easily be a big hit and if they do indeed make a sequel I hope the three leads become the bosses and have to escape vengeful employees of their own, perhaps giving the bosses of the world a comedy to see.
Movies like Horrible Bosses – Office Space, Swimming with Sharks and Dinner for Schmucks


Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.

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