"Another Degrading Experience"
HORRIBLE BOSSES, a male version of the classic comedy 9 TO 5 on steroids, is the latest in a seemingly endless string of R-rated comedies that, while sometimes funny, seem to be engaging in an ever more desperate attempt to shock audiences into laughter rather than relying on genuine cleverness and laughs for their appeal. Starring a stellar cast of seven rising or established actors ranging from Kevin Spacey to Jason Bateman to Jennifer Aniston, the movie’s casting is spot on (except for Aniston’s too-desperate man-eating dentist). However, its tale is inundated with obscene, profane language, bawdy situations and other immoral behavior.
Three put-upon average workers (Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis) finally declare “Enough!” over their bosses’ abusive treatment. They fantasize about how they’d kill them before deciding to actually go through with it. So, they hire an alleged hitman with an unprintable nickname (played by Jamie Foxx). Things get even more out of hand when everyone double-crosses everyone else.
HORRIBLE BOSSES has its funny moments, and the performances are entertaining, but the plot is so outrageous one can’t possibly take it seriously. Also, the filmmakers seem to pile on every swear word they can and create non-stop prurient situations that – albeit sometimes funny in spite of themselves – are ultimately degrading to both mind and spirit. All in all, the panoply of bad human behavior shown within its 100-minute running time is far too over-the-top to be enjoyable by most discerning viewers. In fact, they may wonder if they need a shower to clean off all the junk coming from the screen. That’s too bad, because the basic idea behind HORRIBLE BOSSES is a promising one that’s been mined before to good effect. It’s also an idea that every working person can relate to at some point in their lives.
On the other hand, many studies show that the major problem in the workplace is a lack of civility. Several companies have instituted ethics training for the ethically challenged college graduates. Companies, teams and families cannot function when selfishness overcomes respect and the “I-want: give-me” immature attitudes of a values deprive youth dominate. The biblical model is to honor those in authority. Such an attitude will transform the workplace and improve everyone’s opportunity for success.
(PaPaPa, LLL, V, SS, N, AA, DD, MMM) Very strong pagan worldview in a staggeringly raunchy dark comedy about three put-upon employees who each seek the ultimate revenge against their abusive bosses by plotting their murders in comedic fashion; at least 168 profanities and obscenities, including dozens of uses of the “f” word, “s” word, and seemingly limitless variations of creatively dirty insults and derogatory nicknames as well as frequent utterances of God’s name in vain; strong mostly comedic violence includes Jason Bateman fantasizes about jumping on his boss, Kevin Spacey, and choking him before knocking him to the floor and dragging him by his tie to a window and throwing him out of it, man falling out window crashes into a car, man shot dead from a distance, man shoots himself in leg to pretend another man shot him and turn the man into police, frantic car chase through a city with no damage until the final crash; strong sexual content includes incessant sexual humor, female boss sexually propositions and harasses her male dental assistant on a daily basis although he’s engaged to another woman, salacious discussions and come-ons, self-abuse in a tub, character turns out to be a pervert-for-hire, a wife is promiscuous, and man hires two hookers to follow him around and engage in bizarre yet largely unseen sexual activity; upper male nudity, implied nudity and woman appears half-dressed; three lead males drink casually throughout and other characters engage in drunken excess; man snorts cocaine constantly, which is played as a negative but treated humorously nonetheless; and, very strong miscellaneous immorality includes man speaks disrespectfully about his father who was the beloved owner of a company and died abruptly due to a heart attack, endless forms of deceit and dishonesty, characters are shown as incredibly disrespectful to each other, blackmail, cruelty, and selfish attitude of “every man for himself” is pretty constant.
HORRIBLE BOSSES is another raunchy, abhorrent comedy about men getting into trouble. Three put-upon average workers finally declare “Enough!” over the abusive treatment they suffer at the hand of their bosses. They fantasize about how they’d kill their boss before deciding to actually go through with that plan. So, they hire an alleged hitman with an unprintable, obscene nickname to be their “murder consultant.” Things get even more out of hand when everyone double-crosses everyone else.
HORRIBLE BOSSES has its funny moments, and the performances are entertaining, but the plot is so outrageous one can’t possibly take it seriously. Also, the filmmakers seem to pile on every swear word they can and create non-stop bawdy that are only partly funny in spite of themselves. All in all, the panoply of bad human behavior shown within its 100-minute running time is far too over-the-top to be enjoyable by most discerning viewers. In fact, they may wonder if they need a shower to clean off all the junk coming from the screen. Ultimately, HORRIBLE BOSSES is degrading to both mind and spirit. Go to Movieguide.org for reviews of more uplifting movies and DVDs.