Starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis
Directed by Seth Gordon (Four Christmases)
Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language and some drug material
I’m sure that I am not alone in that I have had my fair share of really bad bosses. While there are some great people out there in managerial roles, it seems that the bad far outweighs the good. What makes a horrible boss? That’s easy – it’s a simple disrespect for the people that work under you. While the fantasy of killing a bad boss has never gone through my head – I wouldn’t have cared too much if one or two of them turned up missing, if you know what I mean.
So when I heard about this dark comedy about three guys who have such terrible bosses that they felt the need to take them out, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. Are the bosses that bad? At least two of them. Kevin Spacey and Collin Farrell, in this film at least, are truly despicable jerks that shouldn’t even be allowed around other people, never mind being in a role of leadership. Jennifer Anniston, as a sexually harassing boss, has a severe problem, but one that just needs a little correction rather than murder.
The script here is sharp as a tack and well acted by all. The film does rely a little heavily on shock value, but that is understandable in this case since the whole premise is shocking. The jokes hit hard and frequently and aside from Jason Sudeikis playing the part of the ultimate ladies man, everything seems organic.
Having worked in the corporate world for so long, I found a real connection with Jason Bateman’s character as he is sure that sacrificing a decade of his life will all pay off in the long run. In this regard, the writers did an excellent job of giving their characters each something that most of the audience will find an association with. Whether the audience has a blue or white collar job, people will find something familiar in these three lead characters.
Do you have to hate your boss to appreciate this film? Not in the least. I haven’t had a horrible boss for a few years now and yet the film still came across as funny and relevant. In a world where the economy is in the tank and management knows that you can’t quit your job for the fear that there are so many out there without work, this movie acts as a pleasurable excursion from reality. B+