You may hate your job, but you probably don’t have bosses like these. Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), gives the coveted Senior Vice President position to himself, but only after months of teasing Nick (Jason Bateman), who kisses his ass and arrives in empty parking lots every morning long before his colleagues. Dale (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Charlie Day) just wants to be a loving husband, but his boss is a sexual harassment nightmare (Jennifer Aniston has never looked hotter). Kurt (Andy Sudeikis) loves his job, but when his boss dies, his coke-fiend son (Colin Farrell) takes over. It’s not long before ‘switcharoo murder’ references are dropped and the trio are up for murdering each other’s awful superiors.
They first seek out a hitman to dispatch their bosses, ending up in a motel room with a “wet work specialist” that Dale summons from a “men seeking men” ad. (When the specialist lays out a tarp, you know some thing’s off.) They eventually enlist the help of “Motherfucker” Jones (Jamie Foxx) who serves as their “murder consultant”. I didn’t laugh at The Hangover much (or its sequel), but there’s something to be said about its meandering, asymmetrical narrative. Horrible Bosses spends its first half tracing its protagonists plights in such a take-your-turn, dutiful fashion that it almost sinks the film off the bat. It isn’t until a particular scene with Harken and Kurt’s boss, Bobby,(which I won’t spoil!) that the movie really shifts into action.
The film mentions, but mercifully doesn’t recreate, similar movies (Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train and Danny DeVito’s Throw Momma From The Train) and we’re better off for it. As far as delegated murders go, this movie does well enough on its own. Horrible Bosses has a decent enough premise, a great enough cast, and is definitely funny enough, but it spends its entire length skirting greatness by failing to be more adventurous.