Tuesday night I had to pick between “Zookeeper” and “Horrible Bosses.” Not quite a Sophie’s Choice.
People behaving badly appears to be the theme of this summer’s R-rated comedies. Bridesmaids behaving badly, groomsmen behaving badly, teachers behaving badly and now bosses behaving badly.
This raunchy remake of “9 to 5” features three friends working for three unreasonable managers who drive them to thoughts of murder.
Nick (Jason Bateman), the normal guy, works for Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey). Dave is a violent psycho who has been dangling a promotion over Nick’s head. When Nick doesn’t get the promotion he threatens to quit but Dave warns him he’ll never work again if he leaves him.
Dale (Charlie Day), the goofy comic relief guy, works for Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston). Julia is a dentist who enjoys doing inappropriate things with her patients while they are unconscious. But mostly she enjoys sexually tormenting Dale.
Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), the horny guy, works for Jack Pellit (Donald Sutherland). Kurt actually enjoys his job as Jack’s No. 1, that is until Jack dies of a heart attack. With Jack gone, the company falls under the leadership of his cokehead son Bobby (Colin Farrell) and Kurt’s job becomes just as hellish as that of his friends.
Realizing they can’t just quit and find new work in this economy, the trio turn to the only other rational option: kill their bosses. After a false start, Nick, Dale and Kurt hook up with someone they think can help them: ‘MF’ Jones (Jamie Foxx). They don’t have enough cash for Jones to pull the trigger but he is willing to give them assassination advice.
I have mixed feelings about “Horrible Bosses.” It’s funny, but not that funny. It’s better than “The Hangover Part 2,” but then that’s not saying much.
Mostly I liked the actors and thought everyone did a fine job, although Charlie Day got on my nerves — like most comedy relief guys. The camaraderie between Bateman, Day and Sudeikis worked well and the bosses were all suitably horrible, if not a bit over the top. Jamie Foxx steals every scene he’s in.
Still, for every clever bit there’s an equally stupid one. If the boys would stop and think for 10 seconds they could’ve avoided a lot of their problems, but then it wouldn’t have been much of a movie if they had, I guess. The movie gets especially ridiculous by the end when Spacey’s character goes out of control.
Did it work for me? Not especially, but it’s not horrible.