McCoy on Movies: Horrible Bosses Movie Review PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tabari McCoy   
Monday, 18 July 2011 00:45

McCoy on Movies: Horrible Bosses Movie Review
Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day's new comedy finds them seeking revenge on their Horrible Bosses. But is it worthy of promotion or a pink slip? Click here to find out!
"You're going to stick that where?!" Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) looks at his boss, Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S. (Jennifer Aniston) with shock, horror and a bit of disbelief in a scene from director Seth Gordon's HORRIBLE BOSSES. Credit: John P. Johnson. © New Line Cinemas, a 2011 Warner Bros. release

KEY CAST MEMBERS: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Donald Sutherland. And one other notable cameo near the very end ...
Michael Markowitz (screenplay), John Francis Daley, (screenplay) and Jonathan M. Goldstein (screenplay); Michael Markowitz (story)
DIRECTOR: Seth Gordon
In case you haven't seen the trailer or can't figure out what the movie is about from the title, Horrible Bosses centers around three friends - Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman), Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) - who have three horrible bosses: Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), a corporate psychopath; Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell), a cokehead with a combover and Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S., who goes out of her way to let Dale know she is D.T.F. (and if you don't know what that means, you likely are at the wrong movie).


Deciding they have had enough of the respective poor treatment by their superiors, Nick, Kurt and Dale decide to remove them from their lives permanently. That leads to them finding Jones, an ex-con with a tattooed head (Jamie Foxx) whose full nickname is very NSFW, who advises them in the art of sending their bosses on a permanent vacation.


But what happens when three amateurs in the art of murder try to take on - and take out - the people tormenting their lives? Comedy - or at least that's what the film's cast and crew hope you find if you go to see the movie!


THE TAKE: The Hangover 2 was supposed to be the funniest comedy of the year, and then it came out and was essentially the same movie as the original for better and worse. Luckily, the Judd Apatow-produced Bridemaids lived up to its pedigree and pretty much locked up the title for the funniest movie of 2011.


But wait a second - 2011 is not over yet. If you like comedy, you owe it to yourself to see Horrible Bosses before the year is out, because it might just steal the title of the funniest movie of the year thus far.


Here's what keeps Horrible Bosses from being anything but a great time: Well-developed jokes, likeable (or in certain cases, so unlikeable that their misdeeds are highly entertaining) characters and a story that both avoids becoming too unbelievable and too predictable. Whereas Spacey and Farrell are terrific as horrible supervisors, Aniston - who does what Cameron Diaz and the rest of the Bad Teacher crew should have done with her character in that movie - is terrific as a dirty dentist who is interested in more than shining Dale's teeth.


Likewise, Bateman, Sudeikis and Day excel in diversifying their characters from one another with a mix of enough quirks and charm to make you enjoy them individually and as a unit. Day, in particular, shines as his character has to likely endure the most given his boss' torment and the grief his buddies give him for it. (Once you see the movie, it'll make more sense, especially if you're a guy.) Instead of drifting into sappy life-lesson territory - I'm looking at YOU, Hall Pass - Horrible Bosses just sticks to being funny and letting the lessons (if there are any) flow out organically.


A lot of credit has to go to the film's writing team and director for not trying to rehash Office Space; for while that film was more a commentary on the general malaise of modern corporate America, Horrible Bosses is more of a fun examination of friends in a rather unique situation and the comedy that happens as a result. It's like what The Hangover: Part II wanted to be, but just isn't. One could argue that both films are in the "been there, done that" category, but Horrible Bosses just does it better.


PARTING SHOT: A film that takes revenge to familiar - but excellent - comedic levels, Horrible Bosses is a lesson that revenge is a dish best served hilarious.



Tabari McCoy -

Tabari McCoy is Cincy Chic's movie critic. You can check out more of his work on his blog at and follow him on Twitter at @tabarimccoy


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