Monday, 25 July 2011

Horrible Bosses [Review]

Having a quick glance around this website, you might notice this review is considerably shorter than most. And there's a very simple reason for that. Horrible Bosses is a comedy film; a comedy not engrossed in subtlety or sophisticated humour, along the lines of Monty Python, but of the more obtuse and exaggerated, the lewd and the loud. That's not to say it takes things over the top; the film in fact manages to achieve that which many screenwriters find so difficult - it is a comedy everyone (of a certain age, of course) can enjoy, without having to resort to jokes about passing wind.

Revolving around a trio of working-middle-class thirty-something men, Horrible Bosses does exactly what it says on the tin - each character has an incessantly intolerable superior; be they a nymphomaniac or a drug-fuelled sociopath, the bosses in question seem to make it their mission to cause our leads as much emotional (or physical) pain as possible. This of course drives the men to decide to brutally murder each other's superiors, as any logical train of thought might. Thus proceeds ninety eight minutes of bumbling hilarity as the office worker, accountant and dentistry assistant attempt to become stone-cold killers.

The acting is fine, but you're not convinced of the plot. More of a B-list cast, the most notable names being Jennifer Aniston (that's the nympho) and Jason Bateman (one of the suffering employees), the three leads struggle to act as though they might be capable of such an atrocity - making the outcome hardly surprising. Yet while it's predictable stuff, you can't help but get swept along for the ride, particularly when it's injected with so much humour. The chemistry between the trio seems unlikely but, somehow, it works.

And sure, Horrible Bosses doesn't do anything revolutionary. But it doesn't need to. It's a daft Saturday night comedy of the best kind - think Superbad, Dinner for Schmucks, etc. That it does manage to make its audience laugh is a clear indicator of success, and success that is due the three leads. While not entirely convincing you of their nature as murderers, their haphazardness does spark its fair share of laugh-out-loud moments. And to that end, Horrible Bosses achieves what it sets out to do. Of course, unlike the now classic Superbad, the longevity of the film is doubtful - hardly that memorable, it won't warrant a second viewing. But you'll enjoy it while it lasts.

See also: Superbad (2007), Dinner for Shmucks (2010)

Dir: Seth Gordon
Cast: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell
New Line Cinema, 98 mins, 22/07/11

Synopsis: Three everyday, average Joes decide they hate their bosses enough that they should stop living. And it's all downhill from there...


Post a Comment