Thursday, March 15, 2012
Day 106: Horrible Bosses
"What is deliberately undressed? You get accidentally undressed?"
Horrible Bosses is one of those movies that has got a ton of stuff going for it, but ultimately it's just not as good as it should have been. The core trio of Jason Bateman, Charlie Day & Jason Sudeikis is great, but like with so many comedy trios, there's an odd man out, and here, it's Sudeikis. He's a fantastically gifted comedic actor, but he's not the straight man that Bateman is & he's not the sublime clown that Day is, so he ends up getting short shrift. I'm getting ahead of myself though.
Bateman, Day & Sudeikis play Nick, Dale & Kurt, respectively, and in addition to being friends, they have something else in common, they all have... have you guessed it yet? Anyway, Nick's boss is the evil psychopathic businessman Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), Dale's boss is the sexually manipulative dentist Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston) & Kurt's new boss is the coke-head douchebag Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell). After drunkenly discussing how much better their lives would be without their bosses around, they come up with a plan to hire someone to kill their bosses. The plan sort of backfires though when the guy they end up paying a lot of money to Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx), accepts the money to act as a murder consultant, refusing to do any killing himself.
The trio of thoroughly incompetent friends then sets off to murder one another's boss, but as to be expected, nothing goes as planned, and the three are quickly set on the road to wackiness. There's a lot of funny scenes, and the back and forth between the three leads is almost always amusing (when you're not shaking you head at how ridiculously stupid they are), but overall, the film is not all it could have been. Colin Farrell ends up being the funniest of the three bosses. His performance is genuinely inspired and so far outside of what we've seen him do before, that it's genuinely revelatory.
Spacey is playing largely the same character he played in the vastly superior Swimming with Sharks, and with the exception of a few funny lines, he's not given much of anything to do here. That brings me to Aniston. She's an actress I've never been particularly fond of, and just because she says a bunch of dirty words and plays a total bitch, doesn't make her all that great in the film. A lot of praise was heaped on her, but I don't think she's very good in this film.
So why doesn't the film work as a whole? I think it has a lot to do with the sheer amount of shit they tried to cram into a ninety minute comedy. If it had just been two bosses and two sad-sacks, it would have been a much better film. Instead it's like ten pounds of sausage in a five pound casing, and while who doesn't love sausage, too much of a good thing is just that. If nothing else, I'm glad that the film was successful because the three leads deserve more exposure, especially Charlie Day. Those of us that watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia have known for years how absurdly funny and talented he is, and now the rest of the world knows, which is great. I could watch an entire movie of him sitting in the car singing along to that Ting Tings song (arguably the funniest scene in the movie).
There are a lot worse ways to spend ninety minutes than watching Horrible Bosses, but on the whole, it will leave you mourning it's wasted potential. It could have been great, but instead it's merely just a forgettably funny movie.