Copyright © 2014 by Warner Bros. Pictures
In light of the injustice encountered by Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman), Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) and Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) from their former employers, they have decided to form their own company manufacturing ‘Shower Buddy’, a shower head that dispenses shampoo along with the water. Their invention gets noticed by Burt Hanson (Christoph Waltz) and his son, Rex (Chris Pine). They agree verbally to finance the three friends if the production of 100,000 units is met. The goods are completed on time but Burt pulls out at the last minute, leaving them with a $500,000 debt. In a desperate attempt to recover their losses, the creators hatch a kidnapping plan with Rex’s involvement.
‘Horrible Bosses’ took a relatable situation and turned it into a box office smash, besting the record from previous champ ‘The War of the Roses’ as the highest earning black comedy in history. Office politics, bosses from hell (scheming, vindictive or simply plain idiotic) and the verbal/physical harassments are some of the ‘perks’ any employee will face after the dotted line has been signed on. A conundrum we ‘happily’ brave on a daily basis.
Yet, there are not too many in the past from good ol’ Hollywood that delve into the predicaments of real people. Who wants real life when escapism is so much more marketable, right? Few and far between, impressionable ones linger till this day are ‘Working Girl’ (Golden Globe winner in 1989) and ‘9 to 5’ (disgruntled workers kidnapping their ‘sexist, egoistical, lying, hypocritical bigot’ boss). Sounds familiar? Kind of the premise for the newest (mis)adventures of our three lovable but bumbling buffoons.
And that brings me to my next gripe. ‘Bosses’ mapped out an extremity which would only work in the movies to non-stop hilarity. At a certain point in our careers, I am sure that we have all fantasise more ways than we care to admit of offing our immediate superiors. The trio’s ill-conceived plan was a mess but first murderous outing, yeah, we get it if things did go astray. So, what happened to practice makes perfect? Dim-witted they may be (two-thirds of the group anyway), it is unbelievably outrageous their actions can be this, um…stupid.
Once the breakout star, Day’s shrill and always on edge Dale soon wears thin before reaching any of the film’s juiciest parts. Props to you too if you thought Sudeikis is dumbing down incessantly fearing that he will lose his goofy charm to Pine’s slicker than his slick coiffed ‘do is understandable but pathetic. Only Bateman’s man of reason hits a lucid balance amid the insanity, revved up by Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey’s scenery-chewing energy.
Along with Waltz, it would have made a ton of difference if the bosses (they are, after all, the ‘distinguished’ faces hardwired into our craniums) are bumped up in the leaderboard and chronicles their many tantalising indiscretions instead of forced and insensitive jokes about race, culture and creed. As far as needless sequels go, this one sits right at the top of the list as a horrible excuse to hold us to ransom for 108 minutes of excruciating, unfunny and offensive writing.
Rated R for strong crude sexual content and language throughout