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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Oct 1, 2011


‘HORRIBLE BOSSES’ is a horrible movie about three oppressed employees who decide to murder their insufferable superiors. Nick (Jason Bateman) is a mid-level corporate executive who tries to endure the repulsiveness of his pompous boss (Kevin Spacey) in the hope of getting a promotion. Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) is preferred by his old boss (Donald Sutherland in one scene) to be the next boss in the small chemical company he works for, but the old boss quickly dies and the company is inherited by his drug-addicted son (Colin Farrell).

Dale (Charlie Day) is the dental assistant of a randy dentist (Jennifer Aniston) who keeps on sexually harassing him even if she knows that he’s about to get married. Nick and Kurt don’t consider this a problem and even urges him to give in to Aniston’s persistent seduction, but Dale wants to be faithful to his fiancée.
While drinking in a bar, they hit upon the idea of killing their respective bosses. They get someone to do this for them (Jamie Foxx) who they pay $5,000 but claims he’s only a consultant, suggesting that they kill each other’s boss to avoid suspicion, as seen in Hitchock’s classic thriller “Strangers on A Train”.

The story idea seems good, with three talented comedians as the inept killers and their bosses played by big name stars who play against type. But the movie fails to deliver the comic punch that it promises. You get to chuckle a bit in some scenes, but they’re few and far between and, sorry, it’s never really a laugh out loud kind of thing. It could have been an entertaining farce, but it just falls short of its target even if it makes use of raunchy offensive humor. It’s not really the fault of the actors. To begin with, the characters are really underdeveloped for them to be really that sympathetic (actually, they’re more foolish) and the situations are not wacky enough.

The three bosses obviously had a good time playing their respective roles. Kevin Spacey sprinkles his abusive boss role with a touch of sadism for added effect. Even funnier is Colin Farrell as the shockingly ugly and balding boss with a weird taste for everything. Rachel of “Friends” sheds off her inhibitions in playing a sex maniac, although we cannot understand what she sees in her mediocre looking assistant. Jamie Foxx does better as the tattooed murder consultant but he has very limited exposure. Actually, there are more laughs in the bloopers and outtakes at the end credits than in the actual film itself.