Author Topic: Horrible Bosses ****  (Read 1324 times)

Najemikon

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Horrible Bosses ****
« on: July 19, 2011, 11:56:48 PM »
Horrible Bosses ****

Year: 2011
Director: Seth Gordon
Rating: 15


Horrible Bosses is hilarious! Properly funny, but a pretty good film all round too. That’s a difficult balance to get right in comedy as The Hangover Part II proved. That was very funny too. It was also bloody awful, treating the audience like idiots with dreadful plotting just to join one gag to another before dumping heavy handed moralising on them as well.

At least the Hangover films are about recognisable people and maybe were so successful because audiences needed a change. While Anchorman was genuinely hilarious, like all Will Ferrell and/or Ben Stiller films of recent years, they rely on ridiculous characters. That’s getting old. Meanwhile Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy) seems to have lost momentum to Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) who has failed to capture the same balance of sentimental crudeness Smith was so good at. At least Will Gluck’s Easy A recaptured the teen comedy last year in superb style, and now Seth Gordon is doing the same thing for grown ups with Horrible Bosses.

It’s a winner because it starts with a funny situation, patiently builds a fiendish plot out of it, doesn’t repeat gags and there are no speeches about finding what’s important in life or some such guff. Even during the overly convenient ending, it refuses to pull punches and you’ll leave the cinema laughing, even if you rush off during the outtakes. Which you shouldn’t, because they’re hilarious too.

The plot is about three working guys fed up of their respective bosses. Jason Bateman is getting manipulated by Kevin Spacey, who is brilliantly nasty (quieter and more devious than his boss from hell role in Swimming With Sharks). Jason Sudeikis loves his job and his boss (Donald Sutherland), who suddenly dies, leaving his drug addict crazy son in charge (“fire all the fat people!”). Finally Charlie Day is suffering Jennifer Aniston’s sexual harassment, which the other two find hard to sympathise with and Aniston is looking so fantastic you may struggle to understand as well! The three guys try to hire a hitman (Jamie Foxx, with a character name I can’t begin to tell you) to kill off their bosses. He instead advises them and they try to do it Strangers On A Train style and kill each others. “Criss-Cross-Criss”, perhaps.

What I loved was how confident the film was, that it works a gag in about how they recognise their plan as being like Hitchcock’s film but mix it up with Throw Momma From The Train! Brave stuff, putting that classic spoof in the mind, but it doesn’t suffer the comparison. Later there’s another brilliant line from Foxx referencing a pretty obscure film and it’s far from obvious and works brilliantly. A movie savvy script is always fun for film nerds! It rarely goes for the predictable, has some great lines and thank goodness it isn’t more Apatow improv. I do like those, but they make for selfish characters and plots with no ambition.

All three Boss actors are having a riot. Spacey gets to do what he’s best at and he is a perfect villain, while Aniston really gets to cut loose as the filthy dentist, as does Colin Farrell who must have had great fun (look out for his awesome take on the Enter The Dragon poster). The three disgruntled employees work together well. They each have their quirks, without spoiling the character. Charlie Day could easily have been a prat-falling sidekick, but it doesn’t quite happen which is all for the better. In fact, he gets a doozy of a final scene.

There are several great sequences, particularly dropping the box of cocaine in Farrell’s house, or trying to entrap Spacey, but they largely avoid outright slapstick and rely on good banter. Some have said it’s dark, but it’s not really or at least what is there is successfully offset by genuine good nature. This isn’t Very Bad Things, which is in glorious bad taste, but it’s certainly fruitier than Office Space or 9 To 5.

This is such a refreshing and satisfying comedy. Ok, audiences don’t ask for much in this regard and just like a good laugh, but it doesn’t hurt to have something as smart as this.

« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 11:58:57 PM by Jon »

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Horrible Bosses ****
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2011, 02:43:13 AM »
I wasn't sure about this one..I have been considering trying to see it, but I wasn't sure.

Offline Achim

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Re: Horrible Bosses ****
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2011, 06:17:07 AM »
I have been wanting to see it for a while now and I keep hearing more and more good stuff about it. The guys from spill.com gave it a good review and now Jon as well. It almost turned into a mist-see now :laugh: Too bad it isn't playing here (yet). IN the worst case I'll have to get the DVD :shrug:

Najemikon

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Re: Horrible Bosses ****
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2011, 07:43:55 PM »
I was lucky enough to get preview tickets. It isn't actually released until tomorrow I think. I know it's out in the States and doing well. If The Hangover films earned as much as they did, this deserves the same success.