Friday, July 8, 2011

Horrible Bosses

Have you ever fantasized about killing your boss?  Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day do just that about Kevin Spacey, Colin Ferrell, and Jennifer Aniston respectively.  And then they decide to follow through with it.  Sound good?  Well it certainly could be depending on tone.  I lean towards darker material and liked this idea infinitely better the first time Kevin Spacey starred in it in 1995 when it was called 'Swimming with Sharks'.  That film is an exhilarating, dark, intense ride as Frank Whaley decides to exact revenge on his abusive Hollywood studio boss. This movie, on the other hand, is ridiculous.  I may sound stuck on repeat from my 'Larry Crowne' bashing from last week, but pretty much every character is completely unbelievable.  Of course, it's more acceptable here than in 'Crowne' because this is clearly supposed to be an over-the-top silly comedy.  OK, I get that.  I just can't understand how this material attracted such an impressive cast.  Since 1995 Spacey has been one of my favorite actors and I always look forward to his choices.  And since he doesn't act nearly as much as he used to, I just can't figure what he was doing here, especially since he's already played the abusive boss before.  And I'm certainly a fan of Bateman as well, who works his trademark dry comedy thing here pretty well, just as he always does, but it's beginning to get a little old.  And since he has yet another movie coming out in a few weeks I'm concerned about his overexposure.  (Less is more, Jason, less is more.)  Ferrell does his best to replicate the wonderful comedic surprise that was Tom Cruise's almost unrecognizable bald guy cameo in 'Tropic Thunder' but doesn't hit the mark nearly as well.  Aniston plays her part satisfactorily, but it's just as impossible to believe her as an aggressive, sexual harassing dentist as it was to believe Demi Moore as an aggressive sexually harassing corporate executive in 'Disclosure'.  (Again, I do understand here it's meant to be ridiculous.)  And Sudeikis and Day really don't bring anything to the table.  I'm not a huge fan of either.  Fortunately a small role by Jamie Foxx adds some punch to a film that definitely needed it.  Truthfully, the film has some laughs and the audience seemed to respond pretty well to it, so people looking for a silly R-rated comedy will probably find it worth the price of admission.  But really it's only the quality of the cast that raises this otherwise inadequate film to an adequate level of entertainment.

Grade: C+

1 comment:

  1. I need to see this anyway. Jason Bateman is too good to pass up. And Stacey? Well, that goes without saying. Yeah, on cast alone, I'm willing to watch this one. (Also, we have higher tolerance for silly R-rated comedies in our household, as you well know.) Always love your references to other films and analogies to other characters, Bri. Gives great context.