Monday, July 2, 2012

Movie Review: Horrible Bosses

Horrible Bosses (2011)
Viewing:  Initial, On Demand
Rating:  3/5

Basic plot:  Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day), and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) are three friends who each have, as the title suggests, horrible bosses.  Each of the bosses (Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell, respectively) are horrible in their own right, and have made the work-lives of each of the protagonists miserable.  But, for various reasons, quitting isn't really an option for any of them.  Aside from not wanting to give up a job in a difficult economy, Nick has been burning the candle from both ends and believes that he is next in line for a promotion, Dale is on a sexual offender's list for drunkenly peeing in an empty playground one night (and therefore can't get a job anywhere else), and Kurt is devoted to a job that he used to like until the former boss died (leaving his coke-head son in charge).  One night over drinks, the three friends jokingly suggest that they kill their bosses. With each of them seemingly stuck in their jobs with their horrible bosses, even when they sober up they figure that killing their bosses is the only way out. So they hire a murder consultant (Jamie Foxx) to help them figure out how to do it.

The opening sequence does a fairly good job of setting up the characters, and I would say that most people could probably relate to one of the protagonists or having the types of bosses that they have.  And it's important to understand the main characters and why they hate their bosses, otherwise the rest of the movie falls apart.  If you couldn't relate to the protagonists, then the movie is just about three potential murderers.  But as it is, it's about three guys trying to liberate themselves.  Sure, murder is wrong, and you want there to be a sense of justice in the world.  But at the same time, you start hoping that they will not only be able to pull it off, but that they'll be able to get away with it.  And even though this dark comedy stays heavily on the "comedy" side, there is just enough "dark" that not only is there a real possibility that people will die, but also the possibility that things might not turn out so well for Nick, Dale, and Kurt.

While this movie is technically a dark comedy, it definitely favors the comedy side more heavily.  But it does it well.  It wasn't the funniest movie I've ever seen, but I did find myself laughing most of the way through, especially during the interactions between Charlie Day and Jamie Foxx.  On that note, it's great to see Charlie in a movie.  I've been a fan of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia since the very beginning, and I think that Charlie Day (along with the rest of the cast) is absolutely hilarious.  But his character is a very specific role in that show.  And while there were some snippets of his character in Horrible Bosses that were reminiscent of Sunny, it's good to see that he has some range to be able to play different characters.

I should also note that this is definitely an R-rated movie, in content as well as language.  Especially language.  There is lots of swearing and vulgarity (the most memorable of which is Charlie Day's comment about why he no longer has any money after paying for murder consultant, Jamie Foxx).  But, the swearing and vulgarity seems to fit in with the tone of the movie and ends up feeling "natural," rather than some other movies that use swearing/vulgarity as an attempt to try to make the movie seem funny.  In other words, this movie does not seem to suffer from the Dane Cook Effect.

Recommendation:  This is a definite rent.  The humor was pretty consistent, the characters were relate-able, and there was a dark enough tone that there is actually some question as to how things will turn out for the trio.  Since I saw this on-demand, I did not have any access to extras, and therefore do not know what extras there are.  But, I have a feeling that if the three main characters are on the commentary, that could potentially make the movie hilarious.  Also, there were a few clips included in the credits, which makes me think that there would be a good bit of extended/alternate scenes, deleted scenes, bloopers, and whatnot on the dvd.  I enjoyed the movie enough on the first viewing that I will most likely watch it again.  And if I get around to watching a version that has extras, I will let you know if said extras bump it up to a buy, or if it just stays as a rent.