Neither ambitious nor inventive, the movie is funny nonetheless
Criss, cross… criss. That’s pretty much the three-syllable summary of Horrible Bosses, which takes the notorious murder-swap of Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train and spins it into a tale of three Apatowesque buddies (that is to say, single child-men in their thirties) who decide to off one another’s, well, horrible bosses.
Nick (Jason Bateman) is a punctual, industrious, and acutely underappreciated office drone—a genealogically deracinated Michael Bluth—stuck under the thumb of a smug, bullying senior executive (Kevin Spacey, typecast yet effective). Dale (Charlie Day) is a happily-engaged dental hygienist forced to endure the escalating sexual predations of the only dentist in town who will hire him (Jennifer Anniston). Only Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) has a boss whom he likes—that is, until said boss suffers a massive coronary, and Kurt must kowtow to the man’s degenerate, coke-addled son (Colin Farrell, all but unrecognizable in a dank, wispy combover).
The three friends gradually recognize that their paths to happiness and fulfillment inevitably pass over the dead bodies of their employers. And so, after an unsuccessful effort to hire a hit man from the classifieds (his definition of “wet work” is not what they’d anticipated) they opt instead for a “murder consultant.” It is from this dubious specialist—an ex-con with a tattooed scalp and piratical goatee named Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx)—that they get the idea of criss-crossed killings.