.

Horrible Bosses

Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston

Directed by Seth Gordon
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2.5
Community: star rating
5 2.5 0
19
July 7, 2011

Here's a hit-and-miss farce that leaves you wishing it was funnier than it is. Why? Because it wussies out on a sharp premise. Because it wastes a killer cast that's ready to rock it. Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day — all performing way beyond the call of comic duty — play three working stiffs who hit the boiling point of abuse from their horrible bosses and decide to off the fuckers. Bateman's Nick Hendricks practically has teeth marks from human shark Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey, the snark master). Sudeikis' Kurt Buckman must answer to the sweatshop mentality of Bobby Pellit (Colin Farrell as hilarious as his comb-over). And Day's Dale Arbus is an engaged dental hygienist forced to cope with the nympho advances and "wet pussy" dirty talk of Dr. Julia Harris, the fantasy poster girl for sexual harassment as played by gorgeous Jennifer Aniston. Did I mention that Jamie Foxx shows up as Motherfucker Jones (these are the jokes!), the murder consultant the guys go to for advice. Couldn't anyone find a consultant for Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, whose timid script (built on a free-floating male fear of women and unemployment) sabotages director Seth Gordon? As always, Bateman's sly knack for underplaying serves him and us. And Day, the comic motor of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, gets laughs in a scene of cocaine-fueled craziness that suggests an edge the movie otherwise runs from. Horrible Bosses is murder by blunt instrument. That would be the script.

Related
Video: Peter Travers Reviews Horrible Bosses in "At the Movies With Peter Travers"
Off the Cuff with Peter Travers: Jason Bateman
The Best and Worst Movies of 2011 — So Far

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