Tuesday July 19th 2011
Isn’t it strange how you learn to accept inherently crappy names over time? The Carphone Warehouse. Superdrug. Lady Gaga. Don’t get me started on Ultra Culture. But one name that I can’t see myself learning to accept is Horrible Bosses. It’s too literal. Too explanatory. And too childish. It sounds like a six year playing grown-ups and complaining about his ‘howwible, howwible boss’. Not quite the allusion you want for a raunchy, post-Japatow black comedy.
Anyway, no use crying over spilt milk. Let’s take a look at the individuals whose despicable and repulsive personalities can only be aptly encapsulated by this most devastating of invectives:
In the Likeable Employees corner, we’ve got Jason Bateman (from middle-age-misbehaviour comedy The Change-Up), Jason Sudeikis (from middle-age-misbehaviour comedy Hall Pass) and Charlie Day ( *tumbleweed* ). They’re virtually indistinguishable from one another for most of the movie but they do have pretty good chemistry, which is a valuable commodity in this ‘just stick Zach Galifianakis on the poster and be done with it’ age.
Deciding with minimal provocation to abandon all sense of morality and kill their howwible, howwible bosses, the trio enlist hee-lariously named criminal Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx) to help them. The character was originally going to be called Cocksucker Jones, but Foxx had it changed because he felt it was ‘over the line’. With the line in question presumably being the one that keeps Jamie Foxx fifty feet away from anything remotely homosexual.
Whereas playing a character who’s implied to have fucked his mother is no problemo.
In the end, they might as well have cut the character altogether for all the good he does the plot. You could lift Foxx’s twenty minutes of screen time right out of the movie and not be left with a single loose end. A bit like Rob Schneider in every film he’s ever appeared in.
As you may have guessed by now, this is not a perfect movie. In fact, it’s muddled, illogical and vaguely offensive. But it’s also the funniest film ‘of its type’ (you know the type) that I’ve seen this year. The central cast do incredibly well with some slightly lacklustre material and King of Kong director Seth Gordon is really starting to deliver on all that promise he showed with Four Christmases. (I’m not joking, if you haven’t seen Four Christmases, you should.)
And besides, those bosses, man… they’re horrible. Seriously.