It’s not hard to see why the Horrible Bosses got the green light; three regular lads thrust into a nightmare situation, generally of their own making, with plenty of batshit mental support characters thrown into the mix.
As is Hollywood’s way the success of ‘The Hangover’ was always going to launch some mutant offspring, Gremlin-style, onto our cinema screens. The surprise is that this particular mutant stands up so well on it’s own; this is a very funny film.
The reason for this? The main cast are excellent. Jason Bateman (Nick) is the best ‘straight-man’ comedic actor going at the moment. Jason Sudekis (Kurt) should hopefully be as well known as he deserves to be after this and Charlie Day (Dale) gives the stand-out Zach Galifianakis performance. The genius of Day will be familiar to anyone who watched It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia but this (should) make him a star.
The backing cast are also great, Kevin Spacey (physco), Jennifer Anniston (nympho) and Colin Farrell (dick) all throw themselves into their respective horrible boss roles. Farrell is the best of a great lot; the comb-over, the clothes, the cursing, the penchant for tigers, coke and martial arts. His Bobby character goes straight into the wing of the Comedy Hall of Fame reserved for absolute assholes.
The central, in fact the only, plot revolves around the three leads plotting to murder their bosses. What starts out as a hypothetical ‘if only’ quickly turns into ‘I can’t believe we’re doing this’. Having your loveable protagonists plot multiple homicides was always going to be tricky to pull off, but the script just about manages it.
But what does plot matter if the laughs aren’t coming thick and fast? It’s here the script excels. In the midst of fairly ridiculous situations the three leads bicker about films, who would ‘do better’ in jail and whether a sexual innuendo from Kurt even makes sense (Ed: “I’d bend her over a barrel and show her the 50 states”). It’s these non sequiturs that get the best laughs and will be quoted by the student-bar brigade. There’s slapstick too, but it never veers too far into shooting-fish-in-a-barrel.
A great cast, a great script and a decent plot. A good night out or a film to re-watch countless times on DVD? Definitely the latter.
By Kevin Donnellan.