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Kevin Spacey, right, plays Jason Bateman's "horrible boss" in this funny film.
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2011 6 years ago

Film Review: 'Horrible Bosses'


What are Oscar winners Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx doing in a film like “Horrible Bosses?” A bang-up job at being hilarious. This non-stop laughfest is the best comedy that I’ve seen in ages.

The movie works on so many levels. A primo cast is the fantastically funny foundation upon which “Horrible Bosses” is built. The three leading characters, Jason Bateman (“Juno”), Charlie Day (TV’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) and Jason Sudeikis (“Saturday Night Live”) have a chemistry between them akin to the Three Stooges. It’s perfect.

Bateman plays Nick, a financial trader whose boss, Mr. Harken (the ever-enigmatic Kevin Spacey), is on a par with the anti-Christ. Kurt’s (Sudeikis) boss (a super slimy, almost unrecognizable Colin Farrell) is an incredibly cruel cokehead. And Dale (Day) is a dental assistant whose boss (the ravishing Jennifer Aniston) takes sexual harassment to a whole new level. For all three friends, switching jobs is not an option. Rather, killing their tyrannical bosses seems more plausible.

The trio seeks out a hit man at a sleazy bar and ends up hiring M.F. Jones (the delicious Foxx). For $5,000 he refuses the “whack” but agrees to be their “murder consultant.” He suggests that if they kill each other’s bosses no one would be the wiser.The lovable louts agree.

What transpires is a series of incredibly funny situations, which include homage (indirectly) to some classic films. There’s an “Annie Hall” cocaine moment, a “Pulp Fiction” fix for revival and references to Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train” (which Dale confuses with “Throw Momma From the Train”).

“Horrible Bosses” also boasts a raucous, risible script ... sometimes imbecilic and at others times copiously clever. Writers Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein deserve credit for a creatively comedic collaboration. Director Seth Fordon also deserves kudos for crossing so many lines without being overly offensive.

To be quite honest, I wasn’t expecting much from “Horrible Bosses.” But the film wildly exceeded those expectations. When a film manages to inject Bob Newhart in its closing scene, you know why these gifted actors wanted on board.

And sit tight when the film’s credits roll. You’ll see some of the best outtakes ever.


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