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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rath's Reviews: Horrible Bosses

Finally I get to review a comedy! Lately I have been reviewing the big summer blockbusters and now that those are petering out I have some other material to review. I should note that to all of my U.S. readers, Australian movie releases are often delayed, hence the reason that most of my reviews are a couple weeks off, and in the case of Horrible Bosses, almost two months late. Regardless, I am going to review it!

You know how when you see a trailer for a movie and over the course of 6 months it doesn't really change? To me that means one thing: all the good parts are in the preview. Comedies are notorious for this, as are a lot of low budget action films. From what I could tell, the trailer for Horrible Bosses has hardly changed since it came out. There havent really been any funny additions, and to be honest it began to worry me. This summer has been PHENOMENAL so far when it comes to R-rated comedies (see Bridesmaids and The Hangover Part II) so I assumed that this might just be one of those copycat films trying to ride on the R-rated coattails of its ridiculously high-grossing brethren. The only thing that gave me hope was the fact that so many stars were tied to this movie that it had to have something special about it...

This trio could certainly give "The Wolfpack" a run for their money...
And there in lies the key as to why this movie is so ridiculously funny. Each character is perfectly, nay...flawlessly portrayed that it sells the whole film. Literally each boss-worker relationship could have its own movie tied to it; the performances are that good. And surprisingly the best performances are not given by the trio above (from left: Charlie Day, Jason Sudekis, Jason Bateman) although that isnt to say that their performances arent hilarious as well. The best performances come from their bosses, the huge-douche-bag Colin Farrell,  the sex-crazed-nympho Jennifer Aniston, and the arrogant-snoot Kevin Spacey. Farrell and Spacey's careers are pretty stable, but with the lackluster movies Aniston has been in lately, this role may very well revive her career if she plays her cards right. Its amazing how much the movie makes you hate each boss and by the time the three main characters are plotting to kill their bosses (the basic premise of the movie) you really agree with their decision. From Farrell asking Sudekis to "trim the fat" by firing all the fat people, to Aniston essentially raping Day while he is having a cavity removed, to Spacey falsely claiming that Bateman is an alcoholic in front of the entire workplace, the movie does a fantastic job of making you want to see these characters dead (well...maybe all of them but Aniston).

"Fire Professor Xavier over there. He wheels around all day in his special little chair. It creeps me out. He's up to something"

Im not so sure I wouldn't mind Aniston as my boss at this point...

Spacey: "That is why I have decided to promote myself to Senior Vice President of Sales"
Bateman: "What?! I mean...sorry..."
Spacey: "Its ok I'll just attribute this to your drinking problem."
The other (and final) star of the show is Jamie Foxx who plays Motherf***er Jones. I kid you not, that is his name in the movie and it leads to some hilarious conversations, including one about how he got his name (not what you may think). He is introduced as the trio's "murder consultant" giving them tips along the way about how to off each of their bosses. Motherf***er Jones doesnt ever say anything particularly laughable, but just the awkward way he acts is Jamie Foxx doing his comedian side very well. For example, watch whenever he goes to take a sip out of a drink through the straw...priceless.

Motherf***er Jones and his motherf***king little red straws
What I also liked about this film is that it didnt take the path I thought it was going to take. Without giving much away, Ill just say that near the end of the film, things arent looking too good for our boss-killing trio. There was hardly any slow down to the movie, with a strong beginning, middle, and end, all of which incorporate really funny bits and scenarios.

I guess my only complaint would be, and I know this isn't fair, but it clearly tries to be a new Hangover. Three guys getting into a lot of trouble and working their way out of it. Sound familiar? And when you compare it to The Hangover and The Hangover Part II (yes people it was the same exact movie, but still just as funny...get over the fact that the plot didnt change), the hi-jinks that these three get into dont really compare. But then again they arent in Vegas or Bangkok so there's that.

Basically, I was really surprised by Horrible Bosses. Comparing it to The Hangover is justified, but at the same time, this movie is original enough to stand alone. I went in thinking that it would be a very average comedy, but came out realizing that along with those off-the-wall bridesmaids and that "Wolfpack", there is a new gang in town now for the R-rated comedy game: the boss killers and their bosses. It looks like I was wrong again...

"It's ok. Ill just attribute that to your drinking problem"

Shut up Kevin Spacey!

Pros:

  • The characters. Plain and simple. Perfectly portrayed and one of those rare movies where the villains are just as much fun to watch as the protagonists 
  • Funny scenarios are constant. There wasn't a dull moment 
  • I think I might name my first kid Motherf***er Jones
  • Strong script and well directed
  • Intriguing and original premise, it feels fresh
Cons:

  • Can't help but feeling a little Hangover vibe despite the originality
  • Not too many one-liners. Lots of funny scenarios, but few quoteables
  •  A sequel to this one will feel VERY forced
  • Charlie Day's high pitched craziness gets somewhat irritating

Rath's Review Score: 8.5/10

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