July 8, 2011

Horrible Bosses - 2011

Director: Seth Gordon
Writers: Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, & Jonathan M. Goldstein
Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx

"You've got to admit that our lives would be better if our bosses weren't alive." After getting fed up with the over-the-top inappropriate treatment from their respective bosses, Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudeikis), and Dale (Day) conspire to get them out of the picture.

If I'm going to be totally honest, I wasn't sure about seeing this movie at first glance. It seemed a little formulaic, and perhaps too raunchy for my tastes. And while the movie firmly establishing itself as taking place now via Lehman Brothers and Angry Birds references, it's still a stellar comedy. Is the idea of people purposefully not tying themselves to murders they want committed in this manner original? No, but it's a strong idea from none other than Alfred Hitchcock (Strangers on a Train). The three co-leads have all proved themselves (Arrested Development, Saturday Night Live, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), and they continue to entertain as well as ever, although there are still touches of Michael Bluth and Charlie Kelly (slightly smarter and cleaner in the case of the latter). It's the bosses that make the film work, though. While not a psychopath in the same manner as Se7en or Superman Returns, Spacey's a villain here on par with those other performances, in his own way. Farrell, sporting a hideous combover and cocaine addiction, is an amoral nepotism hire who couldn't care less about the company's well-being versus his own wallet. Finally, in what might be the zenith of her film roles so far, Aniston's dentist swears enough to keep up with the most low-down sailor or mercenary alive, and couldn't be further from her Rachel Green-types she's so fond of if she tried. On top of this six great comedic performances, the script takes the unexpected turn or two here and there, and you've got a short blooper reel prefacing the credits, which is always nice. A

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