Directed by: Seth Gordon
Written by:Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx
Released: August 25, 2011
Grade: B+

When I first heard the title Horrible Bosses, I was hoping it would be a shrewd exposé of the way our bosses drive us crazy.  We’ve all been there.  Who hasn’t had a therapeutic vent about their supervisor while having a few drinks after work?  I’ll save my horror stories for a less public forum (damn that confidentiality agreement) but thanks to the popularity of television shows such as The Office (both the UK and US versions), we can all enjoy a good laugh at the expense of our superiors.

Horrible Bosses struggles early because of its insistence to portray these three bosses as ridiculous caricatures.  It wins no points for subtlety.  Dave (Spacey) heads a financial services firm and frustrates his staff by making them work long hours and denying them promotions.  Julia (Aniston) is a dentist who has drugged a male co-worker and taken photos of them together in compromising positions.  Um, isn’t that borderline rape?  Bobby (Farrell) manages a small business and decides that he wants to fire all the fat people in the office.  It’s his interpretation of “trimming the fat”.

Whilst the bosses are unnecessarily over-the-top, the film still manages to work as a light-hearted buddy comedy.  Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day play three ordinary guys who are out to get revenge against their imposing superiors.  I’m not talking about something simple like letting down their bosses’ car tyres on a Friday afternoon.  They want to kill them!

Knowing that they’d be one of the first suspects in any murder, the guys come up with a plan to cover their tracks.  Firstly, they’re going to make each death look like an accident.  They’ll need to follow their targets and see if they can spot any opportunities or weaknesses.  Secondly, they’re going to kill each other’s bosses.  That should also help avoid suspicion as the murderer won’t have any direct connection with the victim.

It’s an insane storyline that wanders all over the place but I had to laugh at the banter between Bateman, Sudeikis and Day.  They make a great team and they’re the main reason why you should see the film.  Bateman plays the level-headed one and it gives Sudeikis (Saturday Night Live) and Day (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) full reign to showcase their comedic talents.  The film’s most unexpected performance however is turned in by Jennifer Aniston.  It is both stimulating and provocative.

Likely to lure many in based on the title alone, Horrible Bosses should leave you with a smile on your face as you exit the theatre (particularly if you stay for the outtakes).