If there is a slice of genius in director Seth Gordon’s comedy ‘Horrible Bosses’, note that Mr. Gordon still hasn’t made a film yet that measures up to his absolutely brilliant documentary debut ‘The King of Kong’, but this slice of genius would have to go to whoever thought to cast Colin Farrell, of all people, as Horrible Boss Bobby Pellitt. Genius. The movie itself was funny, for sure, even though it seemed to get less funny the longer it went on.
Nick (Jason Batemen) works for Mr. Harken, as played by Kevin Spacey who took the easy route with this character of his and dusted off that dude he played from ‘Swimming with Sharks’. Mr. Harken is a dick. Seriously.
Kurt (Jason Sudekis) works for Mr. Pettit (Donald Sutherland), the absolute nicest and kindest man who ever lived. That is until he had a heart attack and now his son Bobby (Farrell), a coked out womanizer who hates fat people and cripples, is running the place into the dirt.
Dale (Charlie Day) has had only one goal in life and that is to be a husband, and this idiotic dream of his is about to come true as he engaged to the lovely Stacy (Lindsay Sloane). The filmmakers had to set the character of Dale up just like this since they made the dental hygienist work for Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Anniston) who mercilessly sexually harasses him. You see, if your goal in life was anything other than being a loving and faithful husband, say like your goal was to be a celibate priest or a gay man, you would probably still welcome being sexually harassed by Jennifer Anniston. Sexual Harassment is bad, by the way. Just so you know. Not condoned. No one wins no matter how hot your boss might be.
So these guys have horrible bosses, but who doesn’t, right? But their bosses have gone above and beyond the class of horrible and traveled into the realm of intolerable. Sure they could get other jobs, but they are not going to do this because getting other jobs
isn’t funny. Instead these three have decided to kill their horrible bosses, but they do know they don’t have what it takes to make this happen. Thus they hire a murder consultant in Mother Fucker Jones (Jamie Foxx), that’s the man’s name, who will guide them on their murder path. While Mother Fucker is African American and he does hang out in seedy clubs populated by other African Americans, that by itself probably isn’t enough to qualify one as a Murder Consultant. But I know this, I’m guessing our heroes do not.
So what do you think happens next? If you guessed mayhem and madcap hijinks, then you’ve probably seen a zany, wacky comedy once or twice in your lifetime. Not surprisingly, mayhem and zaniness shall ensue. I sure hope that’s not a spoiler.
In two successive weeks we’ve seen two comedies which have done their darndest to push the limits of good taste, in this movie right here and ‘Bad Teacher’. As it turns out ‘Horrible Bosses’ is funnier than ‘Bad Teacher’, at least in our humble opinion, highlighted by the fact that Jennifer Anniston did a much better job at being bad than Cameron Diaz did, surprisingly enough. And to be honest with you, about the first… I don’t know… thirty to forty five minutes of ‘Horrible Bosses’ was real funny, as we were dealing with these poor schlubs and their crap lives. Armed with arguably the world’s greatest Straight Man in Jason Batemen in the driver’s seat, not to mention Charlie Day and Jason Sudekis who are all funny guys, this isn’t all that surprising. It’s a shame the funniest, most ridiculous horrible boss, that being the character played by Colin Farrell, got the least amount of screen time. I guess we couldn’t cut out any scenes with Jennifer Anniston, considering all of her scenes consisted of the woman either talking dirty or walking around in her underwear or both, and Kevin Spacey does have an Academy Award and all, but Colin Farrell and his comb-over was killing me.
But I don’t know, maybe by the time the real murderization started taking place or maybe the madcap hijinks got too madcappy, but ‘Horrible Bosses’ started to become incrementally less funny after the inspired first act and a half. You see, I didn’t realize that this was supposed to be a dark comedy until somebody actually got murdered. If the movie had that dark comedy thing going on throughout the entire running time, mind you that the boss murder plot was silly comedic, not particularly darkly comedic, then when that guy got murdered it would’ve been kind a funny. Instead it was just some guy who got shot in the head. That’s not funny.
Then there were the tasteless aspects of the movie. Tasteless comedy can be funny, as it was here at times and we are pointing Ioan Gruffud’s inspired cameo as the Wetwork Man, but just because we can be tasteless and inappropriate, doesn’t mean we always have to be. Sometimes a regular old funny joke just might work in place of a crass one. There’s a little known, rarely seen, low budget independent comedy out there called ‘The Truth About Average Guys’ which is a fine example of a tasteless comedy that is tasteless only when need be.
But nonetheless, ‘Horrible Bosses’ was funny. This we cannot deny. We also can’t deny that with this cast and this premise that it still felt as if it should’ve been funnier. But like we say, we will be happy that we at least got this.