Not enough laughs in revenge comedy

MOST people have probably encountered a boss in their working life that they rather they hadn’t.

Tuesday, 2nd August 2011, 11:30 am

You were probably stuck with them day in day out in what was probably the worst time in your life.

The solution suggested in Horrible Bosses is extreme but fun to think about all the same.

Best friends Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) all have the same problem - their bosses are evil and make their lives working lives a misery.

Nick works in finance, starting work before the sun comes up and finishing long after it has set.

His boss Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) has overworked him for eight years. He bullies him and promises him promotions he never actually gets.

The final straw comes when Spacey gives himself a promotion Nick thought would be his.

Dale is a dental assistant for the very glamorous nymphomaniac Julia (Jennifer Aniston).

Although Dale is happily engaged, Julia keeps on sexually harrasing him and threatens to tell his fiancée they slept together, if he doesn’t sleep with her.

Kurt is the apple of his boss’s eye until the old man sadly has a heart attack and dies, leaving his corrupt son in charge.

He is now stuck under his new boss, spoilt drug addict Bobby (Colin Farrell) who makes Kurt fire the weakest members of the staff while carelessly spending all the profits and running the company into the ground.

The three friends meet up and compare stories.

They contemplate quitting their jobs – but in the current financial climate they all decide against that.

Then they come to what they believe is the next logical answer, killing their bosses.

This is probably the biggest indication that the film doesn’t follow any logic and reasoning – three men who have shown any killing tendancies before – suddenly decide that murder is the only option.

First they think of hiring someone – why get your hands dirty and have the murders traced back to them when they can simply hire someone else to commit the crime.

This leads them to Dean Jones (Jamie Foxx) who declines to carry out the murders but offers them advice on how to carry it out – for a fee.

He plants the idea of a chain reaction of accidental deaths which can’t be traced back to them.

The trio begin to follow each others bosses – staking out their homes and finding pieces of evidence which may help in their killings.

The funniest scene comes during this part, when Dale high on cocaine is sat in the car being a watch out.

The bosses are far more entertaining than the would-be killers are.

Colin Farell is almost unrecognisable as Bobby and was thoroughly entertaining in the obnoxious role.

Jennifer Aniston is equally entertaining, playing a character totally different from any other she has played before.

Kevin Spacey is always a brilliant psycho and doesn’t disappoint in his latest offering.

He starts off in the film as a manipulative boss who develops into a real arch-villan with a peanut allergy.

Although the bosses are played brilliantly, the characters themselves are far-fetched and unrealistic.

The film would have benefitted from a few real characters with some real life emotion but that must not have been the tone its makers were going for.

The film does have a few laugh out loud moments to make it just about enjoyable, but sadly not much more.

by Sam Chetwynd