Horrible Bosses - Blu-ray Review

'Farrell goes for weird and achieves it and Spacey can do diabolical office overlord in his sleep'

Considering the standard of most mainstream Hollywood comedies, you've got to count Horrible Bosses as a success. It's not riotously funny, nor is it particularly clever but it does do enough to raise a couple of chuckles and the sight of a group of A-listers (a 'gaggle' of A-listers?) attempting various levels of depravity as the Bosses in question is entertaining enough.

First error though, is the casting of Charlie Day, quite possibly the most annoying screen presence this side of Justin Bieber. Whilst cohorts Nick (Jason Bateman) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) approach their dastardly plot with the innocence and moronity you might expect from three regular Joes trying to kill their superiors, Dale (Day) dashes around like he's been injected with speed (not too far from the truth at one point). We're meant to believe that this guy - who can't stop talking, a fact which makes it difficult to assign blame to the script or Day's ad libbing - is a quiet and devoted family man whose only ambition in life has been to be 'a husband'. It doesn't work.

What also doesn't work is Kurt's propensity to sleep with anything that moves. Sudeikis' character is a likeable enough guy as it is and both Bateman and he provide more than enough interest. A film as apparently simple as Horrible Bosses didn't need the added plot wrinkle, which produces few extra laughs.

Past these character points though there's an occasionally sharp script from Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein and some really up-for-it performances from the A-listers; Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston. Aniston should perhaps have been swapped with one of the other two to avoid accusations of sexism but she does well with what she's given and her boss does, by the end of things, truly come across as a bit of a monster. Farrell goes for weird and achieves it and Spacey can do diabolical office overlord in his sleep.

The people attempting to do the killing are largely fine but it is no surprise that the real worth here is in the on-the-money performances by three major stars. Whenever they're on screen the laughs increase and Seth Gordon's comedy more than gets by on the back of their showings alone.

Look further...

'the troubling thing about Horrible Bosses is it's not outrageous enough, from it's pretty bland straight characters to it's lacklustre, quickly hashed out ending' - The Afrofilmviewer


  1. I enjoy Charlie Day, to a point, but you're right. It's hard to buy that his screen persona would double as a husband (or a dental assistant). And Sudeikis seems to really, really want to imagine himself as a ladies man when he's kind of not.

    I don't know. I see your point about grading this on a curve, but I just couldn't do it. This was a disappointment to me.

    1. I can see why it wouldn't. If you take it out of its place in the timeline of US comedy I still think it would come out as just OK (the three stars made me laugh enough) but its certainly not a classic. Day doesn't fit his character at all and yes, Sudeikis comes close to not. Bateman is, as usual, pretty brilliant.