FILM REVIEW: Horrible Bosses
- July 8, 2011 12:38 PM |
- By Eli Glasner
Has ever such an impressive array of actors gathered for such a mediocre movie?
Horrible Bosses is less a story than a series of situations. Three friends, (we presume they're friends since we see them meeting in bars and playing video games although they seem to share nothing in common), each have despicable, terrible, horrible bosses. After 20 minutes establishing just how horrible the bosses are, the bros have a brainstorm courtesy of their newly hired "murder consultant" played by a barely believable Jamie Foxx. The plan -- to knock off each other's employers -- thereby improving their lives and committing the perfect crime.
And so off we go. Breaking into the house of Bobby, a cokehead who becomes a CEO, played by Colin Farrell. Watching as Jennifer Aniston sheds whatever dignity she had left playing the desperate Dr. Harris. Plus Kevin Spacey, who starts as an arrogant executive and quickly escalates into Nic Cage territory. Colin Farrell is at his most intense, stripped of his leading-man looks. (John P. Johnson/Warner Bros. Pictures)
Before I get into the business of the bosses, let's look for a moment at the trio of friends. Jason Bateman phones in his role as the kind of repressed corporate climber we've seen him play before. Short and screechy Charlie Day is a new face, an unusual source of affection for the desperate dentist. Jason Sudeikis plays an accountant who has to contend with Colin Farrell's character. Strangely Sudeikis, who has all the sexual charisma of a young Jay Leno, is cast as the Romeo, able to seduce women with a smirk and shrug. To give these three some credit, there's an enjoyable looseness, a nice give-and-take in their shared on-screen time. That laid-back energy undermines the reality of the film, as they treat each of the capers with all the seriousness of a frat house panty raid.
With such lightweight silliness, no surprise the supporting characters steal the show, particularly Colin Farrell. Clothed in Charlie Sheen's cast-offs, given a massive gut and combover for a head size of an Easter Island statue, Farrell is nearly unrecognizable. Freed of his leading-man looks, the Irish actor plays Bobby the addict with a teeth-grinding intensity reminiscent of Tom Cruise's equally outrageous transformation as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder. Rude and lewd? Yup, but since it's funny he's forgiven.
Speaking of lewd, let's have a moment of silence for the career of Jennifer Aniston. As if magazine covers such as this weren't enough, the former Friend goes for the full Monty, playing the maneater with an insatiable appetite. Sure, dudes will get their kicks watching her prance around in her undies with enough dirty talk to make Kevin Smith blush. But seeing a star of her wattage cash in all her chips in such a fashion is unseemly. Aniston may think she, like Cameron Diaz, is proving she can be one of the boys. But in a movie very much made for guys, the joke's on her.
RATING: For squandering its resources on a cringe-worthy comedy Horrible Bosses rates two pink slips out of five.
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