Horrible Bosses proves you can still make lukewarm, star-studded comedy blockbusters in 2011 just as well as you could make lukewarm, star-studded comedy blockbusters back in old-timey Hollywood. Sometime in 2005, Michael Markowitz, the man that brought you CBS’s Becker and USA’s Duckman (the only cartoon courageous enough to ask, “What if George from Seinfeld voiced a mystery-solving duck?”), was given a paycheck for something around five million dollars. That large paycheck was compensation for a very mediocre script. After six years, tons of director changes, new talent contracts and vague attempts to make the movie semi-relevant to the shitty economy, Horrible Bosses was born. Is it a good film? No. But is Horrible Bosses funny enough to warrant a heat-escaping summer matinee? Certainly!
Since it’s a star-studded blockbuster, let’s take a closer look at our star. Jason Bateman plays an adroit, yet uptight businessman who’s constantly hassled by moronic authority figures. So Bateman is Michael Bluth again. Without George and Lucille, who antagonizes Bateman? Kevin Spacey! Spacey plays a devious villian who’s both smarmy and snarky — again, nothing new. The other Jason — Jason Sudeikis from SNL — is another mild-mannered businessman, but his character is a lovable sex addict. Sudeikis’ boss is Colin Farrell, a coke addict with a bad combover — besides the bad hair, this is not much of a stretch for Farrell. Finally, we meet Charlie Day, a dental hygienist who proudly upholds the commitment of marriage by refusing to have sex with Jennifer Aniston (his devious dentist boss). The three guys hatch a scheme to kill each other’s bosses, and zany hijinks ensue. Story is not Horrible Bosses’ best asset.
Thankfully, Seth Gordon (director) allowed the three TV funnymen to do some improv and turn Horrible Bosses into a comedy — this is where the film does succeed. Day in particular is Bosses’ “breakout star” — he’s this summer’s “Quirky Bearded Comedian” (see you later, Galifianakis). Day’s spontaneous weirdness, Bateman’s on-edge straight man routine, and Sudeikis’ really low voice actually are quite funny. There’s no take away message, moral or even a point to Horrible Bosses — those things don’t do too well at the box office. It’s just a mediocre comedy that goes well with soda and popcorn.

About The Author

HEY! It's Nick Martin. He's been working at buzz for a while and worn many hats — all of those hats were floppy. Now, he manages the community editorial section on the back of the magazine, writes what he fancies, and makes sure people put stuff on computers. If you want to write an editorial, email: buzz@illinimedia.com with subject, "I want to write an editorial!" If you're over the age of 18, follow Nick on his very offensive, NSFW Twitter, @ihatenickmartin

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