Redeeming Features: “Horrible Bosses”

Welcome to Redeeming Features. The blog where I (poorly) review movies that are underappreciated, underrated or under the radar, in hopes of convincing you to give them a second chance. Horrible BossesThis week, we’re talking about what is probably the most underrated movie I’ve reviewed thus far. Not necessarily because it’s the best, or even better than some of the others, but because people just did not give it a fair stare. Everybody knows about it, but nobody has actually seen it. Although, that does seem fair, considering the trailer seems to have been thrown together in as much time as it takes to watch.

Anyways, I’m talking about Horrible Bosses, a not-so-horrible raunchy-romp-around about three uppity up bosses and the underlings dead set on killing them. Also, when I say raunchy, I don’t mean like hanging dong or nothin’, but you do get pretty friendly with one Jennifer Aniston. So, that’s nice. By raunchy, I mean how they’re in no way attempting to shy away from a combination of some of the English language’s most unsavory slurs.

Now, the typical review route is to start with our main characters, but it seems more apropos to focus on the bosses they abhor. Each one dabbling in their very own special brand of awful, and driving the plot from the very get.

Let’s start with Harken (Kevin Spacey). Harken is the sort of strong, sinful type. Well-versed in the ole “trick you into drinking scotch at 8 a.m. in the morning” game, he twists and tortures his go-to manager, Nick (Jason Bateman), to absolutely no end. Passing him up for a promotion, even after making him miss the passing of his Gam Gam… and then not so surreptitiously laughing in his face about nicknaming his grandmother Gam Gam. Spacey does a phenomenal job tapping into the sadistic dick we all know he’s capable of playing. Source: Se7en, and a litany of other films.

Second, we have Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Anison). Harris, as Dale (Charlie Day) so lovingly calls her, is one “Evil Crazy Bitch… D.D.S.” Dale, her dental assistant, grits his own pearly whites just trying to survive this succubus. She drills him day in and day out about, well, not drilling her. Playing a vigilant game of cat and rouse, Dale becomes increasingly more and more upset with her antics, and when he finally decides to stand up to her, she pulls out an iPad album full of laughing-gas-induced Dale staged in some rather provocative positions. Although, he gets no sympathy from the boys seeing as Aniston is a stone cold fox. And, honestly, a remarkable actress – she’s surprisingly good in this.

Last, we have Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell). I know, I know; another damn Farrell movie, but the dude is making a serious comeback, and doing so with gusto. Farrell, borderline unrecognizable, plays this role like a reprehensible coke-riddled fiddle. After taking control of his father’s company, Pellitt starts exploiting the very foundation it's built on and making star employee, Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) do his REALLY dirty work. Ya know, like “trimming the fat.” AKA, firing the fat people. AKA, the pregnant lady in the office. Needless to say, Kurt has his work cut out for him.

Eventually (to get the damn plot moving) they can’t take it anymore and decide to start murdering. Except they have one problem: they have no idea how to murder. Like, I’d be surprised if any of them have even hit an animal with their mid-sized Volkswagen sedan. So, what do they do? Pile into the aforementioned mid-sized Volkswagen sedan and ask their GPS to take them to the roughest neighborhood around. There, they meet Motherfuckah Jones (Jamie Foxx), who gives them all the tools they need to get the job done. And yes, his name is Motherfuckah Jones, not to be confused with MotherfuckER Jones, which would just be ridiculous, ya honky.

The movie, for all its stupidity, is actually really smart. The character development is strong and succinct. The dialogue is quick and quicker-witted. And the acting is superb. Well, superb for what it is – they weren’t up for any Oscars or anything. Every bit and everyone works incredibly well together, which makes for a surprisingly fun, flagitious flick.

TL; DR - Three friends conspire to murder the awful bosses who stand before their happiness, but quickly learn their plan to only be as good as those executing it.

Cody Tidmore is a Level Three sketch student at DCH. He’s been watching movies for as long as he can remember. Seeing it all – the good, the bad, even the ugly. And when it comes to annoyingly working movie quotes into regular conversation, he’s the reel deal.