‘Lazy’ has been the word of choice thrown around when talking about Warner Bros. latest comedy “Horrible Bosses,” and quite frankly I agree. That word should be used to describe many movies this year, with studios lining up A-list stars, 3D visuals, or promises of raunchy, fun humor – only to take your money and leave you with an “it was fine” reaction. “Horrible Bosses” is continuing this taking advantage of movie fans trend by over promising and under delivering.If I listed the named actors in the cast – Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Jason Bateman, Colin Farrell, Jason Sudeikis, Donald Sutherland – it would seem really impressive. But if I listed the amount of jokes you will actually laugh at, the excitement level would hit rock bottom.
I personally like the premise of these three guys (Bateman, Sudeikis, Charlie Day) being treated badly and plotting to do something so dark as to kill each other’s bosses (Spacey, Farrell, Aniston). It sets up for a goofball, good time, popcorn comedy with some big stars playing these over-the-top, villainous bosses. The pieces are there for a good summer escape, and the trailer (seen below) supports this theory.
But the full-length movie itself reads a lot differently. Within the first five minutes of Charlie Day screaming his lines, as if the louder he said them the funnier they would be, I started to check out. I began to enjoy the woman next to me devouring her popcorn like a cow more than the wink and nod jokes on display in front of me.The issue for me lies in relating to the movie in any way. Even in a comedy that teases Jennifer Aniston saying dirty things, you need someone to root for and relate to – murder plot aside. Think about being out with your friends. The funny one in the group isn’t necessarily funny because he tells good jokes; he’s funny because his reaction to real-life situations makes him funny. There is no one to root for or relate to in this movie, because you learn nothing about them except that they hate their bosses. That word ‘lazy’ is creeping in now. This leaves the actors with nothing else to do except tell you jokes instead of making you laugh as you live through this crazy plan with them.
Aniston, Spacey and Farrell do their jobs and do them well. Aniston on the surface is a nympho-maniac dentist who, you can imagine, is probably more lonley than she lets on; Spacey – a jealous, egomaniac who thinks he rules the world; Ferrell – a spoiled brat with a cocaine problem; Now, if I had to explain the main three characters, I couldn’t. They are so simple, and lazily written and developed, it’s almost like the writers and director Seth Gordon figured three comedic actors would just fill in the gaps and make it work. It also makes the movie as a whole seem like an empty shell of a comedy – clunky and disconnected by the script and direction.
There are some legitimate laughs in “Horrible Bosses” and I should give credit to them. The movie delivers some punches of good jokes scattered throughout, but overall it’s just not enough to make “Horrible Bosses” worth the ticket price.