A Mean Template

Nick,Dale and Kurt have horrible bosses. A one-line premise is sought to be turned into a full-fledged movie,which results in a slew of generic situations,with only a few sequences that make you laugh

Written by Shubhra Gupta | Published: June 2, 2012 1:53 am

Horrible Bosses

DIRECTOR: Seth Gordon

CAST: Jason Bateman,Jason Sudeikis,Charlie Day,Kevin Spacey,Jennifer Aniston,Colin Farrell,Jamie Foxx

Rating: *1/2

Nick,Dale and Kurt have horrible bosses. A one-line premise is sought to be turned into a full-fledged movie,which results in a slew of generic situations,with only a few sequences that make you laugh.

Nick (Bateman) is a cog in a financial firm’s wheel,on the verge of promotion. Or so he thinks. His boss (Spacey ) thinks different. He is insulting when he’s not being downright nasty,just waiting to show Nick down. Dale (Day) is a dental assistant being leered at by his boss (Aniston),who is constantly and aggressively coming on to him. Kurt (Sudeikis) has a good thing going at his place of work till his bossman drops dead one day and his dopehead son (Farrell) takes over and jumps all over him.

Three horrible bosses,three hapless fellows. How do you get rid of people whose only purpose in life is to make other people miserable? The film comes up with all kinds of alternatives (one of which is a hilarious send-up of something called “wet work” and about the only genuinely funny gag),hiring an assassin (Foxx) who turns out to be a sharpie. But more often than not Horrible Bosses comes off as one of those comedies which feels more template than anything else. A while back,there was Bad Teacher. Then there were the Hangover flicks. All coasting on sexual jibes (digs on the inadequacy of a poor guy’s “equipment”),poorly disguised racist jokes,and flat situations.

Some of the performances are fun,though. Kevin Spacey as the mean old advertising man who is happy to string along a subordinate,is clearly enjoying himself. I liked Day’s squeaky dental assistant too,as well as Aniston’s nothing-below-the-dental-white-coat tigress take. And there’s another well observed nuance of American life in here: a call centre assistant who is clearly (at least to our ears) Indian but who goes by the name of George. That’s a good one,till it goes into a loop,and is not quite as funny the second time around. Also,why is a film that released globally last year finding a theatre in India now?

SG

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