The Establishing Shot: Horrible Bosses Review

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

Horrible Bosses3 Oscars, 5 Golden Globes, 124 Other wins and 184 Nominations are the accumulated accolades awarded to the key Horrible Bosses cast. Unfortunately not even brilliant acting from amongst others like; Donald Sutherland, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston can save Horrible Bosses as it slides from full of promise to somewhere between irrational and irritating.

Don’t get me wrong it has moments of absolute hilarity and starts well when we are introduced to some credible characters and the premise of Horrible Bosses, something along the lines of Strangers on a Train or Throw Momma from train – both of which are referenced in-situ.

For Nick, Kurt and Dale, the only thing that would make the daily grind more tolerable would be to grind their intolerable bosses into dust. Quitting is not an option, so, with the benefit of a few-too-many drinks and some dubious advice from a hustling ex-con, the three friends devise a convoluted and seemingly foolproof plan to rid themselves of their respective employers...permanently. There's only one problem: even the best laid plans are only as foolproof as the brains behind them.
But then Horrible Bosses slowly slides into a frustrating episode of The Three Stooges. Again don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of The Three Stooges and I enjoyed both Down By Law and O Brother Where art though. But how anyone thinks that the three lead characters quirks are enough to smooth over holes in the story is ridiculous. The biggest culprit being Charlie Day‘s character Dale Arbus - which is a shame because he was one of the highlights of 2010s fairly decent Going the Distance, but he seems to be channelling Bobcat Goldthwait from Police Academy 2 for Horrible Bosses.

Both the other leads escape from Horrible Bosses relatively unscathed. I’m fairly new to Jason Sudeikis and enjoyed his performance in Hall Pass but he doesn't improve on it all, despite an engaging start in Horrible Bosses. Jason Bateman continues to increase his on screen presence and I hope to see him in a big screen role that really gives him something to grow and own as I have been waiting since Silver Spoons and the all time classic It’s your move, the TV show (& character) that Ferris Bueller ripped off.

At one point it looked like a twist would save the day and get Horrible Bosses back on track but the the opportunity is lost and we slowly continue our downward spiral to the deus ex machina ending.

Horrible Bosses has such potential to be great but just can’t find its feet, possible the heavyweight performances outweighing the flimsy material. However it is probably worth seeing just for some really fine acting from a top notch cast as well as witnessing a welcome return to a genuinely menacing performance from Kevin Spacey (no I'm not referring to hammy Lex Luthor. I'm talking about a genuinely menacing performance like in the low key Swimming with Sharks), Colin Farrell’s funniest role yet and Jennifer Aniston in a role that allows her to stretch a bit past her usual typecasting.

Horrible Bosses Review

Director: Seth Gordon
Stars: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis

Horrible Bosses will be released on to UK screens Fri, 22 July, 2011

Horrible Bosses
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