It’s been a bad summer for super hero movies: Green Lantern, Thor, and X-Men and all bombed. It’s also been a rather disappointing summer for the summer cinematic staple: sequels! Hangover 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Cars 2 didn’t exactly regale audiences the way their makers may have intended.
What it has been, however, is a good summer for comedies: first Bridesmaids came out, making everyone awaken to the fact that, hey, women are funny – I mean so FUNNY that I have to use all caps and italics to stress just how funny they can really be. And now comes Horrible Bosses, not quite as entertaining as Bridesmaids but still a jolly good time for anyone who doesn’t mind throwing away $12.50, 90 minutes of their lifespan, and mainstream logic out the window in the name of cinematic farce.
The one thing everyone will be able to agree upon is the idea that Horrible Bosses is this year’s Hangover: it even out-Hangovers the underperforming Hangover sequel by a good few yards.
What exactly do I mean? Well, it makes us laugh at a terribly common scenario by sprinkling new and bizarre idiosyncrasies into a situation that everyone can relate to. Who hasn’t had a boss they detested with every bit of their biological fiber? Or had a boss you thought may have been the model for Michael Scott on The Office? Hating your boss is a universal, time-honored tradition – and it never hurts when that tradition is expounded through four letter words espoused by the likes of Jason Bateman, Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston.
Here’s the basic premise (it’s so basic, you might find it hard to believe the film is as watchable as it is): three mistreated and disabused employees vow to avenge their misery by, well, murdering their bosses. The employees are played by Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and (the hilarious) Jason Sudeikis whose bosses are the formidable trio of Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell. The three would-be murderers hire a hitman named Motherf*@#er Jones (Jamie Foxx), and thus the hilarity ensues. There’s a lot of spying and amateur espionage to set up all the slapstick that takes place in the film: perhaps we have forgotten just how funny a fall can be, but the filmmakers remind us, again and again.
The film may benefit from relatively low expectations (hey, this is a comedy starring Jennifer Aniston, after all) but then everyone just might be pleasantly surprised by how good Aniston is in this film. She nails every scene with pitch perfect comic timing and – gasp! – may just find second innings as a comic heroine. Go, watch, and be suitably surprised by how much you enjoy her performance.