When three best friends meet for drinks after work one evening, each shares a tale of woe worse than the next about his boss from hell. Dental hygienist Dale (Charlie Day) complains about how Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston) has been pressuring him to sleep with her, despite the fact that he’s in love with his fiancée Stacy (Lindsay Sloane).

Meanwhile, Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), second in charge at a chemical corporation, relates how the late CEO (Donald Sutherland) has just left the family-owned business to his son, Bobby (Colin Farrell). And the profligate heir has already started to run the company into the ground by firing loyal employees and frittering away profits on prostitutes and cocaine.

Last but not least there’s Nick (Jason Bateman), an executive at an investment firm. He was recently passed over for a promotion promised to him by a sadist (Kevin Spacey) so Machiavellian he fires people for being a few minutes late.

In the real world, these buddies would probably just cry in their beer about being abused in the workplace and leave it at that. But in the realm of revenge comedy such situations serve as the cinematic fodder for rationalizing murder. Thus, {Horrible Bosses} actually has the beleaguered trio entering a conspiracy to kill their tormentors.

The dark comedy plays out as a mean-spirited indulgence in vengeance way too preposterous on its face. After all, what guy in his right mind who has Jennifer Aniston throwing herself at him is going to resort to homicide, even if he’s not inclined to take her up on the offer? Similarly, nobody normal decides to go postal like Dale’s pals because of their being denied a raise.

Be that as it may, this flawed flick has our hapless heroes consulting a hit man (Jamie Foxx) before becoming hopelessly embroiled in a harebrained conspiracy. Don’t be surprised to find yourself rooting for the bosses instead of these three stooges should you opt to watch this implausible adventure.

As for the brand of humor, the graphic shocksploit repeatedly relies on cuss words and the crudest of vulgarities for punch lines as opposed to creativity or sophisticated repartee. For example, Jamie Foxx’s character’s name is Mother- Jones.

Why? Because he his mother. How charming. In another scene, maneater Dr. Harris blackmails Dale with, “If you don’t me, I’m going to tell Stacy you me. How ladylike.

An overindulgence in coarse language highlighting profanity as the hobgoblin of small minds and unimaginative scripts.

Fair (1 star)
Rated R for sexuality, crude humor, pervasive profanity and some drug use.
Running time: 98 minutes
Distributor: Warner Home Video
Blu-ray Combo Pack Extras: DVD version, Ultraviolet Digital Copy, additional scenes, and featurettes entitled: “The Making of the Horrible Bosses Soundtrack,” “My Least Favorite Career,” “Surviving a Horrible Boss” and “Being Mean Is So Much Fun.”

To see a trailer for Horrible Bosses, visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh9cG5dzs-U

To order a copy of the Horrible Bosses Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit:
www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004EPZ08E/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Kam Williams

Special to the AFRO