The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Horrible Bosses

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4_Chicks_Small Judy Thorburn

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Horrible Bosses

Here's a scenario millions of people in the work force, especially during these hard economic times can relate to; trying to do your job while under the thumb of a horrible boss, or the term I prefer, a boss from hell. Employers have the upper hand more than ever because they know they can get away with unfair behavior; it isn't easy for their employee to quit and get another job.

In this case, we have three guys forced to withstand terrible, relentless, unwarranted, daily treatment from their separate bosses just so they will be able to take home a paycheck. There is nothing funny about that unless, of course, the premise is used as the basis for a dark comedy and Horrible Bosses, directed by Seth Gordon (“Four Christmases,”) from a sharp, witty script by Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein is one of the the funniest films of the summer.

Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day share great chemistry and comaraderie in Horrible Bosses. They play a trio of longtime buddies who work at separate jobs in different fields but have one thing in common, despicable bosses they wish were dead. Low key, solid Nick (Bateman) is hoping to get a promotion at his investment firm, but is constantly tormented and held back by his monstrous boss Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey, once again in pure evil mode) whom he describes as an “asshole” and the “anti-christ”.

Scratchy voiced Dale (Day, from the TV series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” ), a dental assistant, is in love with his sweet and pretty fiance (Lindsay Sloane). That doesn't stop his horny, dirty mouthed, sexpot boss, Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Anniston, playing against type like you've never seen her), an “evil, crazy bitch”, from continually sexually harrassing him. He finally reaches the point where he can't take it any more.

Womanizer, Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) likes his job as manager at a chemical plant and has a great father-son like relationship with his beloved boss Jack Pellit (Donald Sutherland), to the angry dismay of his real son, demented, coke snorting Bobby (an almost unrecognizable Colin Ferrell, sporting a seriously silly combover and having a field day in this role). When the old man dies, the the morally corrupt (he hates fat people and the handicapped) and greedy Bobby takes over, putting the company at risk.

Fed up with their never ending predicament, and convinced they can't get another job, during a night out drinking, Nick, Kurt and Dale, come up with a plan that would make their lives a helluva lot easier, which is to kill their bosses by hiring a hitman. After a hilarious mishap (that includes a very straight faced Ioan Guffudd in a cameo role) resulting from Dale's attempt to find a hitman on Craig's List, they connect with an intended assassin at a bar in the form of an ex con named Dean “Mother-f-ker” Jones (a much tatooed Jamie Foxx, channeling Mike Tyson). But, instead of agreeing to do the “job”, for a negotiated fee, he offers to be their “murder consultant” and extends some advice on how to pull off their scheme with the suggestion they kill each other's boss.

With no knowledge of how to really go about it, other than what they've seen on TV crime shows and in movies, things don't go as planned. What can you expect from these regular guys who don't really have what it takes to commit such a heinous crime as murder? Acting like the Three Stooges, they wind up getting themselves involved in a series of very funny bits, shenanigans and blunders that will have you laughing out loud. There are references to Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train, which in a comical turn, Dale confuses with Throw Momma From the Train starring Danny DeVito. It is all a bit absurd, at times very raunchy including lots of crude language, but there are also some surpising twists and turns.

It all works in a hilarious fashion as intended. Of course, anyone in their rght mind would never think of committing a homicide. However, living vicariously through fictional characters is certainly not a crime. Since laughter is the best medicine, this hilarious recession era comedy might even be therapeutic.