Oct 4, 2013

[Movies] Horrible Bosses (2011)

Comedies are a bit of a mixed bag for me these days given how is more popular in the US today tends to involve rather vulgar, gross-out humor that relies on awkward situations and inappropriate jokes. Thus the disclaimer must be set that I'm the kind of person who didn't go totally crazy for movies like Bridesmaids and The Hangover, to cite a few. I know both movies were wildly popular, but I guess they just didn't work for me.

Horrible Bosses sort of dances close to that line of movies that don't quite strike me as being all that amazingly funny despite rave reviews and good numbers at the US box office. My opinion may not really matter for the most part given a sequel is already reported to be in the works.

This is not to say that this is a bad movie - it has its moments and I did laugh here and there. But it just didn't seem all that amazing to me - or at least not as amazing as a lot of people claim it to be. And this may just be a matter of opinion or perhaps I'm not part of the target market for the movie.

Synopsis: Horrible Bosses is a 2011 black comedy directed by Seth Gordon with a screenplay by Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, and Jonathan Goldstein. The sequel is expected to be released by November 2011.

The story around three friends and their less than ideal bosses. Nick (Jason Bateman) has been slaving away at his company in the hopes of getting a promotion from his boss, David (Kevin Spacey), but in the end David announces that he will absorb the responsibilities of the position instead along with the budget for the role. Dale (Charlie Day) is a dental assistant who is constantly trying to fend off the sexual advances of his boss Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston). And lastly there's Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), who initially has a nice boss in Jack Pellitt (Donald Sutherland) until he dies and his drug-addicted son Jack (Colin Farrell) takes over the business and makes life miserable for him.

Given how things appear to be going from bad to worse for all three of them, they end up joking about possibly killing their bosses one night over drinks. At first the idea is dismissed as crazy talk but eventually they all come around and decide that it's the only way to solve their problems. The only challenge is to find an actual hitman to do the job for them - thus the hilarity of the movie begins in earnest.

A lot of the movie rides on the camaraderie between its three lead actors - Bateman, Day and Sudeikis. And the three guys really mesh well together onscreen, which does help the movie along quite well. Their comedic timing complements one another in their various sequences and that deserves credit for both the actors and the director as well. As strange as some of the situations were, the end result works out pretty well. Many have written about Charlie Day being rather stand out in this movie and I can see why they say that. As much as Bateman and Sudeikis are more established, their performances felt a little low key in this particular venture. Thus having Day being his crazy self really put himself out there for everyone to laugh at and of course enjoy.

Of course once can't ignore Kevin Spacey in this movie, no matter how stereotypical his character is. It has been a while since we've been able to celebrate Spacey being his crazy, evil self and he is top form in this little comedy. Aniston and Farrell also do well in their respective bossy roles, but Spacey is a class act all of his own versus everyone else.

The overall story was decent enough, but it didn't feel all that stellar or amazing, especially given the talent that had been assembled for the movie. Great actors with a mediocre plot do result in a decently funny movie, but I can't help but feel like it could have been so much more. There were sequences that degenerated into sheer childishness of the bad sort that is more awkward than funny to watch. But then I guess people still go for that sort of thing, so boo on me.

I still enjoyed Horrible Bosses but something just felt lacking to me. Maybe it was the relative level of the humor or the clunky plot or Jamie Foxx playing a really weird stereotype. At the end of the day it wasn't exactly something that was going to change my life. Thus I only rate the movie as 3.5 awkward exploits involving the three out of a possible 5.

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