VOD film review: Horrible Bosses
Ivan Radford | On 09, Mar 2014Reading time: 2 mins
Director: Seth Gordon
Cast: Jason Bateman, Kevin Spacey, Jason Sudekis, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell
Watch Horrible Bosses online in the UK: Netflix UK / Amazon Prime / iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play
It’s impossible not to like Jason Bateman. Whether he’s hunting down aliens or tolerating a family of idiots, or even plotting to murder his boss, he’s a likeable guy. It helps, of course, that his evil employer is played by Kevin Spacey. Would you pay to see Jason Bateman pretend to murder someone? Maybe. Would you pay to see Jason Bateman pretend to murder Kevin Spacey? Shut up and pass the wrench.
It’s not just Nick (Bateman) who hates his boss. Dale (Day) is being sexually harassed by his boss, Julia (Aniston). She’s apparently horrible too. Kurt (Sudeikis), on the other hand, really likes working for his boss, Donald Sutherland. Until Donald dies, passing the company to his coke-snorting son, Bobby (Farrell). He’s really horrible. Plus he has bad hair.
Combined, the sheer horribleness of these horrible bosses make the trio of friends decide to take the ultimate horrible step and kill their bosses. Horribly.
It’s a decent premise, and one that opens up the chance for some seriously black humour. But Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein’s script resist that route, instead running on the crude buddy comedy rails into Toilet Humour, Sex-ville. It’s a shame, especially as the cast has such potential – Jennifer Aniston is actually good as a sex-crazed psycho, displaying raunchy comic timing (“Let’s have sex on her unconscious body! Let’s use her like a bed!”) as well as her other, ahem, talents.
The rest of the actors are mostly on form, from Charlie Day’s shrieking idiot to Colin Farrell’s combover-sporting asshole (who gets about 15 minutes of screen time). But Jason Sudeikis just walks in straight off the set of Hall Pass, playing the token ladies man (apparently bedding every woman he meets who doesn’t class him as a sex-crazed psycho).
With Sudeikis demanding no sympathy and Charlie Day’s hysterics becoming slightly one-note, Bateman’s deadpan presence and an enjoyably villainous turn from Kevin Spacey keep the chaos on an even keel. Some amusing subplots are actually pointless (hello to Jamie Foxx’s murder consultant) but Horrible Bosses manages to keep the guffaws consistent. There’s no depth to keep you hooked when you’re not laughing, but it’s impossible not to like the film. After all, Jason Bateman’s in it. Now hurry up and pass that wrench.
Horrible Bosses is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription. It is also available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription.