VOD film review: Horrible Bosses
Ivan Radford | On 09, Mar 2014
Director: Seth Gordon
Cast: Jason Bateman, Kevin Spacey, Jason Sudekis, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell
Watch Horrible Bosses online in the UK: Amazon Prime / Apple TV (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 a particularly sinister Kevin Spacey.
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 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 particularly brilliant, displaying comic timing and a knack for unpredictable oneupmanship.
The rest of the actors are mostly on form, from Charlie Day’s shrieking idiot to Colin Farrell’s combover-sporting villain (who gets about 15 minutes of screen time). Jason Sudeikis, sadly, practically walks in straight off the set of Hall Pass, playing the token ladies man.
With Sudeikis demanding no sympathy and Charlie Day’s hysterics becoming slightly one-note, Bateman’s deadpan presence keeps the chaos on an even keel. Some amusing subplots are 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 to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.