Following my disappointing experience with The Hangover 2, it was with caution that I ventured into the screening of Horrible Bosses. Despite featuring some big names, I couldn’t help but feel that it the ‘bromance trio’ formula that appears to be doing the rounds in Hollywood of late would begin to wear thin.
Horrible Bosses follows the antics of Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day). Each of our protagonists is paired with a nut-job boss. Colin Farrell plays a spoiled hedonist running his deceased fathers company, whilst Jennifer Aniston plays a nymphomaniac dentist with great aplomb. Kevin Spacey also resurrects a tamer version of the psychotic boss he played in Swimming With Sharks. Our trios’ run-of-the-mill jobs quickly mean they become bored of working under the tyranny of their bosses.
After a well-timed series of oddities the three musketeers plot to usurp their superiors by killing them. Their amateur approach to assassination quickly lends itself to laughs. A ‘recon’ mission to Kurt’s crack snorting boss results in some unfortunate consequences of inappropriately using a vacuum cleaner that result in two of our characters inadvertently getting high. They are also hoodwinked by a stereotypical gangster whose most heinous crime turns out to be pirating DVDs.
Jennifer Aniston and Jamie Foxx really standout in this film, with Jamie conducting the screen with his comic glances alone. Aniston’s dentist character is memorable for a host of reasons, but her ability to be completely absorbed in the role is entertaining to say the least. It’s nice to see her flex her comedic muscles and step out of her Marley & Me mould.
However, much of the humour in this comedy is slapstick, only really generating the odd snigger. The three central characters all have a strong background in sitcom but the gags fail to keep us entertained for 98 minutes. Horrible Bosses is a fun jaunt if you fancy a comedy but it’s in no way memorable. The gags are one-dimensional and the plot is not strong enough to support them for the duration. This isn’t to say that it’s not worth watching, but don’t expect to leave the cinema with your sides split.
Horrible Bosses is released in the UK on 22nd July 2011