Horrible Bosses: Review

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.


45 comments
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joey
joey

Superhero movies appear to do well when the characters have a prominent place in popular culture -- i.e. Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, etc. Iron Man was the only exception of a minor character that got audiences excited. Even then, Tony Stark is the Marvel version of DC's Bruce Wayne.

The problem with Jennifer Aniston's character is that it should have gone to an older, unattractive woman. That way more focus can be placed on the writing -- making her cruel, manipulative, and deranged -- than just showing skin. It's hard to believe that an immature guy, in the sex-crazed world that we live in, would shun a female boss' advances, especially if she has a hot body. For example, it's even suggested that Charlie Day fuck the crazy out of Aniston.

A femme fatale is someone like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct and Faye Dunaway to a certain extent in Chinatown. In a similar vein, Charlotte Rampling has good presence, and I'd have been satisfied with her in the part. If you have to cast a younger woman, I think Emily Blunt could have filled the part well because she did a fine job as the mean assistant in The Devil Wears Prada.

None of the characters really have convincing motivations or reasons for not quitting. It's one thing to suspend disbelief here and there, but it's certainly another to stretch your luck on everything. That's why most comedies these days aren't very impressive and wouldn't stand the test of time in my opinion.

I agree. There aren't very many good films out. That's why catching up on the classics is time better spent. Hey, I'd join in the poster game, but I don't know how to post images using code.

d55
d55

There are people who say she is "beautiful" "gorgeous" ajahhjsajh i think she gives a lot of hope to below average to average-looking women everywhere. Because of her, they believe they, too, can get someone as hot as brad pitt to marry them someday.

d55
d55

She always looks constipated.

Glimmer
Glimmer

maybe bomb isn't the word.(especially if you're including the international markets) but this summer hasn't had a super hero movie just grab the public and have it rabidly enthused...

'The man-eater role needs to be played by an older, more sophisticated woman.'

or would a female (regardless of age) that you feel 99.99% of guys wouldn't as you put it 'pump and dump' worked well ??

seriously,curious who would you suggest for this role ???

also was it portrayed if he 'pumped/dumped' her he'd feel he'd lose his job ??

also get you points about the stakes not being high enough for the going postal thing but hey most movies especially comedy have a big gimme/suspend your belief factor on a point or two. if this film was better to you. i don't think you'd be as bothered.

but you did see this film. you're better than me. so often i know/feel something isn't gonna work for me.and just don't give it a try. i say that knowing later this year i'll get sucked into seeing some trad oscar bait thing i know won't work for me. ha ha...(too many blockbusters/too many trad oscar films)

so,hmm i guess you're not gonna join us in the horrible bosses poster game. ;)

anyway joey this really hasn't been good year for big film stuff/has it ???

joey
joey

I have to disagree with this review on several points.

Thor and X-Men: First Class didn't bomb and still turned a profit. Disney even announced last month that there will be a sequel in 2013.

Horrible Bosses is just a stupid idea. It's a classic example of trying to stretch a scenario that doesn't work. If confronted with this situation, you'd just quit, sue your employer, and receive a nice, fat settlement. You wouldn't go postal à la Cho Seung Hui unless you enjoy pound-you-in-the-ass prison. The setup is too implausible, and the stakes aren't high enough to justify that kind of reaction. Our would-be killers look more like pussy-whipped accountants. Oh wait, that's what Jason Sudeikis' character is supposed to be.

Does it even make sense that Charlie Day would reject Jennifer Aniston's sexual advances? 99.99% of guys will pump and dump her. The man-eater role needs to be played by an older, more sophisticated woman.

Chinnifer Maniston's performance wasn't that great. She's obvious and one-dimensional. Being coarse and obscene isn't necessarily the same as being clever and witty. Some times, they coincide, but you don't get that here in this movie.

Movieline's review summed it up perfectly: "Still, much of the movie's potty-mouth dialogue feels forced and strained, particularly the stream-of-consciousness bawdiness of Aniston's character. Nothing Aniston does is funny because she's working so hard at it all. There's something calculating and prissy about the way she plays the good-time gal who's not afraid to be sexually aggressive. It's a performance with something to prove, and that's never funny."

Jawnifur Anusstain is just pathetic. She cultivated a nice-girl, scorned-woman image for years, but now that she's in her 40s, she's trying to keep viewers interested by being raunchy. All you get is Rachel Green from Friends talking dirty in Horrible Bosses. People also keep saying she has a good body in the movie. So what? A lot of actresses do. Big deal.

Glimmer
Glimmer

yeah, not doubt transformers would win the weekend...

joey
joey

I think it's funny that Jennifer Aniston keeps playing these single women in their 20s and 30s when she's already in her 40s. She's 6 years older than Chelsea Handler supposedly is. LOL.

joey
joey

The Break-Up was a great movie? It's supposed to be a comedy, and the laughs are few and far between.

joey
joey

Jennifer Aniston isn't a big draw at theaters. Her movies only do well when she's got stronger costars to back her up. When she tries to fly solo, as in The Switch, the movie doesn't do very well.

joey
joey

Transformers 3 still dominated. Horrible Bosses will face stiff competition at the box office in the coming weeks. Harry Potter (July 15), Captain America (July 22), and Cowboys & Aliens (July 29) are going to be hard for this shitty comedy to beat.

Pamela Susan Courson
Pamela Susan Courson

She's just trying to milk whatever she's got and getting sympathy after the whole fiasco with Brad and Angie. Sry Jen, ain't gonna work. You're a petty insecure bitch, and your hubby clearly wasn't that into you in the first place! It's gotta hurt, and to have the entire world witness your humiliation. I'm surprised you're even amongst the world now. And 'Jezebel' as you so politely call Angie, is saving the world. Yep, hurts don't it.

Pamela Susan Courson
Pamela Susan Courson

I'm just saying, if you would go to Amsterdam, I'd bet they'd be throwing themselves at you. And if not, I bet Nookies is a rentboy. lol

Glimmer
Glimmer

you were an optimist. how about that for a reversal ??? ;)

Glimmer
Glimmer

'plays the same people over and over again...'

but as it's often said people that play the same person or slight variations on the same person are some of you biggest movie stars/box office draws/earn the biggest checks.

i suspect if you asked most people if you want to be known as good actor or a movie star...

salma
salma

I don't think she's a bad actress, I think she has made lot of terrible movies and haven't showed yet what she can do, I hope she makes another kind of movies.

salma
salma

I wanna see this movie!

McPerv
McPerv

The Break-Up was a great movie, and Office Space is Top Ten all time. OK, so she has also done a lot of horrible movies, but that's two classics for a marginally talented, moderately attractive actress, who only gets to choose the leftovers that Cameron Diaz and Sandra Bullock reject.

Boz
Boz

Oh and I think it won't take long till people to get bored of Jen. Once that happen, there's a huge chance that she will return to TV again.

Boz
Boz

I seriously didnt even know that the movie's not a rom com. You see, that's the problem, people see that 'Oh, it's Jen's new movie again must be some lame ass shit again. Pass." People really dont even take her seriously again. Like Nookies said, she's still relevant now cause she was once with Brad Pitt.

Nookies
Nookies

She's only relevant because Brad Pitt dated her. Shes probably one of the worst actors, plays the same people over and over again..I just don't understand it. None of her shit has been any good.

Glimmer
Glimmer

i like the fake trailer thing with the president as a duck. :)

yeah, $20 million a year and being one of the few females that's seen as a big draw at the movies.and since she's not seen as a serious actor even less to lose ???

Glimmer
Glimmer

since the 'the good girl' didn't do much at boxoffice nor did it put jennifer in that years award race as some thought it had a chance of doing...

jennifer's at the age where people really don't want to stretch past there comfort zone especially if a previous attempt failed/and you were pretty much scene as a mainstreamy actor to start with.

so after her supposed her off from doing film i'm still not expecting any 'unusual' choices from her...

and not a return to tv since she's too big and doesn't need it career or money wise.and a return to tv would be seen as a down step for her. and no one wants it to seem like their star has diminished...

didn't Jeniffer do a smaller film a couple of years ago and it didn't even get to many theatres/if it even got a release at all ???

boz,since 'horrible bosses' isn't a rom com plenty of people will think she's doing the most amazing change of pace ever. "she's so versatile" i can hear people saying.

oh and i guess she tried to do something different/well different for her with 'derailed' or whatever that was called and that was another failure money/review wise. she's gonna stick with the same stuff for a long time...

General Delacroix
General Delacroix

Or maybe she keeps making terrible movies because it allows her to make 20 million dollars a year.

Even the title of this movie is lazy. That's how much hollywood writers don't give a shit anymore. "Horrible bosses", that's not even a title, it's a description. They probably sat in the conference room thinking "Ok so today we have to come up with this story about bosses who are horrible. I think we'll call it Horrible Bosses. Whatever lol !".

The guys from South Park described the situation better than I did : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-MqIIoc5r0

Boz
Boz

maybe she needs to do more like 'The good girl' kind of movie? you know if you have failed to attract people once, why not try again? hehe. OR maybe she needs to go back to TV again.

Glimmer
Glimmer

and sort of by choice ??? what does the audience/her audience want from her ???

if she does something like 'the good girl' people don't care. so she sticks with huh whatever it is she's doing.and going by that standard does 'bosses' seem worse than her usual ??

hmm i'm not really a fan of hers/not too familiar with her films/but i had to put these questions out...

the questions remain the same and there's no one to blame... ;)

Boz
Boz

Jen makes horrible movies.

mimii
mimii

shes so ugly lolol

Glimmer
Glimmer

so abba,did you catch a free screening or did you 'throw away' $12.50.

was the audience really into the film ??? that can always take the watch a comedy in theatre thing a kicks it up a notch...

so all the good comedies this year have been 'R' ?? that's even weirder than the super hero films not killing the public...