Moving on from terrorists as the reigning stock villains in cinema to those who mercilessly dictate whatever the content of your weekly paycheck, Horrible Bosses is located somewhere between darkly comedic satire and your basic scary movie. And clocking in at theaters none too soon as get-even office drudge gore, on the heels of the concurrent national economic crisis in full swing.
Reporting for duty at assorted offices from hell as a trio of despondent besieged workers, are after-hours chums with a tendency to commiserate loudly at the neighborhood pub. Nick (Jason Bateman) is a model bottom feeder suit at his corporation. But his sadistically scheming supervisor Harken (Kevin Spacey) not only overworks the meek, servile underling, but intercepts Nick’s long anticipated and well earned promotion for himself, as an additional job title.
At the same time, Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) toils as an accountant at a firm where the new crazed cokehead boss (Colin Farrell in unrecognizable freak mode) is fond of barking irrational orders at him all day. Including a to-do list instructing Kurt to immediately fire all the fat people around, along with any handicapped on staff.
Likewise at wit’s end as the target of radically inappropriate workplace tyranny, is Dale (Charlie Day). An about to be married dental assistant, Dale dodges his sexually conniving, chronically horny boss Dr. Julie Harris (Jennifer Aniston) all day. While she’s determined to induct him as her nine-to-five boy toy, between and even during scheduled root canals.
After the three mutually miserable mates share horror stories and conspire to commit occupational assisted homicide together, they visit a local ghetto watering hole in search of an imagined cut rate inner city hitman. But where they encounter instead Motherfker Jones (Jamie Foxx in a way offbeat kooky cameo that nearly steals the show), an eager but crafty barfly with an outrageous hidden agenda of his own.
With a scenario that darts back and forth between frantically funny and seriously deranged, Horrible Bosses projects a vibe that awkwardly mixes intermittent wild moments with impulsive mood swings, and that at times seem as indecisive as these confused characters. And let’s face it, Jennifer Aniston despite her best efforts, just doesn’t have the DNA to pull off playing sexual desperation, when rabidly cornering an obsessively targeted geek sex slave.
2 1/2 stars