Horrible Bosses * * 1/2

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Director: Seth Gordon.
Screenplay: Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein.
Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Julie Bowen, Donald Sutherland, Lindsay Sloane.

The last time Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx were in a film together they were cool, charismatic crime fighters in “Miami Vice“. This sees them playing roles that couldn’t be further from that brooding intensity but unfortunately, despite their best comic intentions and through no fault of their own, this is just as flat as their previous film.

Three disgruntled employees Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) decide to murder their bosses Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell) and Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston) respectively. But their plans, assisted by dodgy ‘professional’ Dean “Motherfucker” Jones (Jamie Foxx), don’t quite go to plan.

The “Horrible Bosses” in question are the ones that make this comedy (almost) work. Spacey, Farrell and particularly Aniston are an absolute delight to watch. Spacey has done this all before of course with “Swimming With Sharks”. Farrell, complete with comb-over, ditches his usual tough, cool guy approach and Aniston shouldn’t have to try much harder than this to lose her cookie “Friends” persona. Here she’s a foul mouthed sexual deviant and the highlight of the film. Despite all these wonderful comedic performances though, the script really let’s them down. This had the potential to one of the finest comedies for quite some time but ends up being no more than just an entertaining time-passer. There are very few laugh out loud moments and the ‘Horrible Bosses’ are simply not in it enough. These are roles that all three of Spacey, Farrell and Aniston seem to revel in but are denied the chance of any substantial screen time. If the film had them at it’s heart it would have been a different and far more fulfilling story.

Concentrating more on the employees rather than the deliciously nasty bosses, is the films first fault. A dull script and flat direction don’t help either, leaving this somewhat of a misfire and a wasted opportunity.

Mark Walker

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