18 April 2015 | Rickting
Unoriginal, but well played and often funny
Horrible Bosses is a dark comedy involving 3 friends who conspire to murder their 3 dreadful bosses. HB doesn't look too out of the ordinary, but surprisingly it works although it's far from perfect. A piece of commentary of the recession, which thankfully doesn't shove this point down your throat and keeps it as a subtle background theme, HB uses dark humour to get its laughs and initially it's difficult to get behind the 3 protagonists, but at the same time they are likable characters and the film goes in a different direction than what you're expecting. As the 3 leads, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis are entertaining and relatable, while Jamie Foxx makes his mark with a small but still memorable role as a criminal adviser. The 3 bosses are fairly 2 dimensional villains; Kevin Spacey is very good and his character is an entertainingly horrible boss, but Jennifer Anniston's character is too exaggerated while Colin Farrell's character is both too exaggerated and wasted. Suffering occasionally from the mean spirited, OTT jokes which often plague adult comedies, HB also occasionally takes plot turns which just don't make any sense.
HB is still funny though, and with a neat running time it's a story you can get invested in without having to pay too much attention. Many of the jokes are funny and a scene involving an assassin who turns out not to be an assassin is very funny. A certain aspect of the ending is illogical, although the conclusion is still satisfying. It's well directed and the screenplay is mostly well written and manages to be funny instead of mean spirited. The Hangover this ain't, but HB is an effective and fitfully nourishing comedy which delivers on the laughs, doesn't run out of steam and manages to keep you guessing about what's going to happen next. It won't cater to all tastes and some will inevitably find offensive. Personally, I think it's pretty offensive at times, but only in a silly, jokey way. Overall, the film is fairly safe and standard in some ways, and doesn't do anything we haven't seen before but not every film needs to be an innovator. Overall, I enjoyed Horrible Bosses. Might try the sequel despite the poor reviews.