Nine to Five meets Strangers on a Train, farcical comedy Horrible Bosses revolves around a trio of hapless wage slaves who are so fed up with their respective bosses-from-hell that they decide to bump them off.
Jason Bateman’s hard-working desk jockey Nick is sick of being pushed around by corporate tyrant Kevin Spacey; Jason Sudeikis’s conscientious accountant Kurt can’t stand seeing his company’s greedy, coked-up new owner bleeding the firm dry (a sleazy Colin Farrell, almost unrecognisable beneath a hideous comb-over); while mild dental assistant Dale (Charlie Day) has had enough of fending off the unwelcome advances of nymphomaniac dentist Jennifer Aniston. After taking some dodgy advice from a street hustler (a scene-sealing Jamie Foxx), the threesome form a pact to kill one another’s boss, but putting the plan into action is another matter…
The would-be assassins’ hopelessly bungling efforts produce a steady supply of laughs, though the jokes are often extremely rude and crude and the meandering plot doesn’t make the most of the film’s set-up. (Danny De Vito’s darkly comic 1987 directorial debut Throw Momma from the Train was much better at giving a comic spin to the Strangers on a Train murder-swap premise).
Fortunately, the actors rise above the script. Day’s shrieky performance is irritating, admittedly, but Bateman underplays beautifully and Spacey, Farrell and Anniston totally nail their despicable characters – Aniston, in particular, has enormous fun playing her perma-tanned man-eater, vamping it up in a role that couldn’t be further removed from the perky rom-com heroines she usually plays.
On general release from 22nd July.