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Horrible Bosses - Movie Review By A.D.Harris

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Kevin Spacey is undoubtedly a horrible boss. His Dave Harkin is described on promotional material as "crazy & psycho" and there's no denying that he's both those qualities in their most extreme form. If I was ever to find myself in the business of 'management-disposal' then this is the sort of boss I'd expect to find myself dealing with on a weekly basis.

It turns out that Colin Farrell is perhaps not quite as horrible a boss as Kevin Spacey is. He's disgusting and pretty much insulting to everyone he comes into contact with but whether his Bobby Pellitt needs extermination or just hiding away in a darkened room is a grey area.

Jennifer Aniston is not so much a horrible boss, but more a crazy weird one. A sex-mad-man-eater, her Julia Harris is incredibly delicious to watch on screen and undeniably the sort of boss I would not expect to find on my 'weekly extermination list'; she's much more likely to be in the papers as the star of a celebrity sex scandel...

Thankfully though, whether they deserve to be killed or not, there are three characters in dark-comedy 'Horrible Bosses' who all have their reasons to get rid of that one person wrecking their lives. Jason Bateman's Nick is denied promotion after promotion by the wicked Harkin, tricked and fooled into a life of misery with no rewards. Bateman excels as only the star of 'Arrested Development' could, unimpressed face a-plenty it's almost like watching a version of Michael Bluth who snaps and decides to kill someone. Packing in lots of sarcastic one-liners, Bateman is the dry edge that make 'Horrible Bosses' consistently funny in the darkest of ways. His nemesis however, is undoubtedly the stand-out surprise of the movie. Kevin Spacey uses every ounce of the creepy-ness he showed in 'The Usual Suspects' and 'American Beauty' to create a man who is just deliciously despicable and utterly unrepentant it beggars belief. He is also given the most screen-time, his character's story ties into the main plotline in a wickedly brutal way.

Charlie Day plays Dale, the 'Zach Galifianakis' of the trio; more crazy, bizarre, loud and ultimately quite weird, but with more of a moral stance than Alan ever did in The Hangover. Dale is without a doubt the laugh out loud member of the leading trio. Day's high pitched voice provides much of the hilarious anguish that the three friends find themselves in as the plot turns left and right with every wickedly inventive minute of the movie. Dale is also the employee of Aniston's Dr. Harris and when the two are on screen together the audience is gasping for air as the scenes roll out thick, fast and very, very funny. Aniston breaks out of the mould that she's been in for most of her career, playing a character much darker and adult than we're used to expecting. It works a treat to see the former Rachel Greene in such a sexy and outrageous skin.

Jason Sudeikis plays Kurt, who has a lot of issues with Colin Farrell's Bobby. After Bobby's father Jack (played in an unexpected and random cameo from Donald Sutherland) is killed in a tragic accident, he takes control of the family business where Kurt worked as Jack's right hand man. Suddenly Kurt's dream job has turned into being forced to fire the fat people and the disabled. Sudeikis is perhaps the most understated of the three leads, Kurt much more reigned in than Dale and less dry than Nick. However he still packs some of the funniest laughs from his desires to sleep with everyone he takes a fancy for as well as a scene where he finds himself in Bobby's bathroom. Farrell meanwhile is wickedly fun to be around despite his disgusting character. The main problem with the character is that he's largely lost in the background for the second half of the movie; barring his early scenes which work brilliantly he barely gets any more lines and the jokes come solely from his looks.

There's no denying that the movie goes through a few rough patches around the midpoint, the screenplay needs to tie together the various plot threads leading to the bosses being pushed to the side whilst the leading trio get themselves ready for the 'big night.' At this point the film hits a couple of lulls which threaten the fast pace the movie strives to achieve. Despite this, there is always a scene around the corner which ups the ante within seconds, cameos from a brilliant Jamie Foxx and a surreal Ioan Gruffudd make for memorable scenes on both actor's resumes.

As the movie draws towards a conclusion you see coming a mile away, you discover it doesn't matter that the element of surprise has gone. You've had such fun getting there that you are dying to see it performed by an ensemble that is one of the best for many years. Thankfully, the finale doesn't disappoint, a frenetic car chase and a surprisingly clever final showdown ending the movie in the most perfect of moments.

When you're back in work the next day and thinking how lucky you are that your own boss is nothing like any of the nuts you watched on screen the night before, you'll find yourself laughing and smiling... and then wondering whether you truly are lucky afterall.

It turns out that having Horrible Bosses is a heck of a lot of fun!

7.5/10

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