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'Horrible Bosses' is an absolute laughfest and anything but horrible

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Admit it, most of you don’t like your bosses.Kevin Spacey, Jason Bateman and Charlie Day from 'Horrible Bosses.' Photo: www.flicksandbits.com

In fact, I’ll bet you that most of you completely despise them, but not to the point where you would want to have them killed.

Horrible Bosses, the newest of several ‘below-the-belt’ comedies released this summer, literally takes the term ‘dissatisfied employee’ to a whole other level. The movie centers around three drinking buddies trying to make a living in the working world.

There’s Nick (Jason Bateman), who is in line for a promotion after eight years, but first has to deal with his manipulative and condescending boss Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), Dale (Charlie Day), the dental assistant who is sexually harassed daily by his boss Julia (Jennifer Aniston), and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), who has a great relationship with his old boss (Donald Sutherland) until he dies unexpectedly and now has to work with his nunchuck wielding, coke-head son (Colin Farrell).

After a particularly rough day at the office for all three, they agree that if they didn’t have to deal with their superiors, their lives would all be less complicated. So they propose what every disgruntled co-worker does when they are fed up with their bosses.

They conspire to have them killed.

Since Nick, Dale and Kurt have put back several beverages at the time of their initial proposal, it’s considered more of a drunken rant than anything. However, when Dale gets blackmailed by Julia one last time, he revisits the conversation, and the other two are more than happy to go through with it. Only problem is, it’s not a normal occurrence for the guys to plot three murders, so they seek outside help in the form of Dean ‘Motherf***er’ Jones (Jamie Foxx), who is willing to assist them in their quest for a rather ridiculous fee.

But before the groundwork is even finalized for the intended killings, it all goes wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong. From crazy car chases to the most unlikeliest use of a toothbrush and razor you’ll ever see on screen, sheer madness follows Nick, Kurt and Dale. The three realize how over their heads they really are in creating this mess, but they are nonetheless determined to carry out their mission, even though the outcomes aren’t exactly what they expected.

 

You might have to see Horrible Bosses twice because you’ll most likely miss some of the jokes from laughing over the previous ones. The cast is well utilized and make the absolute best of the film’s rather raunchy script. Spacey is at his absolute snarkiest in the role of Harken, Bateman never wastes an effort, Foxx makes the most of his limited screen time, and Saturday Night Live’s Sudeikis has made a nice transition from Studio 8H to solid comedic movie roles.

While It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Day stole some scenes as the bumbling Dale, the biggest surprise is an over-the-top but hilarious (and barely recognizable) Farrell, who is known more for his serious roles than comedy. Aniston, although a bit miscast (let’s be honest, who WOULDN’T want to be harassed by her?), delivers one liners that rival even her best work on Friends. Honorable mention goes to Modern Family’s Julie Bowen, who has a cameo as Spacey’s wife.

The zaniness of Horrible Bosses’ is not unlike that of the first Hangover. However, unlike the aforementioned film’s first installment, ‘Bosses is not opposed or ashamed of relying on sexual comedic gags for laughs, and the movie undisputedly edges out Bad Teacher for the most politically incorrect film of the year. Racial profiling and infidelity are just some of the taboo subjects ‘Bosses touches upon, but director Seth Gordon manages to present it in a way where its overtones are exploited and made so over the top to the point where you just have to laugh.

And chances are you will.

Quite often.  

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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