Chances are, if you’ve ever had a job, you’ve hated your boss at one point or another. Sure, your boss might not have snorted coke in the office or made you drink scotch at 8am, but everybody’s had a boss they just couldn’t stand. In Horrible Bosses, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Carlie Day plot to kill their evil employers, bringing justice to the workplace.
Kurt (Sudeikis) has to come in to work every day and deal with his sleazy, cokehead boss Bobby, played by a comb-over wearing Colin Farrell. Bobby’s dad is the founder of the company and a father figure to Kurt, but when he dies from a heart attack, Bobby takes over and runs the place like a strip mall version of Studio 54. He does drugs, he brings in questionable women and he forces Kurt to fire fat or disabled people.
Dale (Day) is living on the other side of the spectrum at his job as a dental hygienist. Instead of having a boss who outwardly tortures him, his boss, Julia (Jennifer Aniston), is a little too friendly for comfort. In fact, she spends most days overtly sexually harassing him. When Dale’s fiancee comes in for an appointment, Julia knocks her out with nitrous and tries to have sex with him on top of his unconscious bride-to-be.
Still, the king of all bad bosses is Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) who spends his days mind fucking Nick (Bateman) into submission. He teases Nick with false promises of promotions, forces him to down a tumbler of scotch first thing in the morning and publicly humiliates him in front of the entire staff.
One night, after a heavy drinking session, the guys decide their bosses have got to go and set out to find a hitman who can handle the job. In a bar in the scary part of town, they find Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx), a tough dude who just got out of jail. Instead of doing the hit himself, he acts as a “murder consultant” and proposes that the guys kill each other’s bosses.
This leads them down a road of recon missions and minor crimes until one boss is dead and they find themselves in too deep.
Horrible Bosses begins with the Office Space-like reality of working for someone you hate. It seems like that subtle tone might be carried through out as the slow-moving plot starts to unfold. Then things start ramping up when they guys meet Jones and the plot starts spinning out from slightly real into wacky Hollywood comedy. The jokes get more broad as the film starts to rely on physical humor instead of the clever delivery at the beginning.
Thankfully, Horrible Bosses has a cast to die for, so even when the jokes are broad, they’re still funny. Bateman has already proved he can do deadpan with Arrested Development and Sudeikis’ wit comes through in every line. Still, it’s Day, the wild card, that makes the scene. Having such great actors as the despicable villains doesn’t hurt either. The cast is what prevents this movie from becoming your average predictable comedy.
It’s no Office Space, but the cast of Horrible Bosses brings some good laughs.