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Gross-out comedy works no magic

HORRIBLE BOSSES Comedy: Starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey > Mark Evans

A humourous take on the plight of recession-ravaged American workers, Horrible Bosses opens well with the horrors of working for a demanding or demeaning employer. But the believable insights into the office dynamic gives way to car chases, murder plots and slapstick humour so this is certainly a movie of two halves.

Three friends have the bosses from hell -- each nightmarish in his or her own way.

Executive Nick (Jason Bateman) is working his ass off to gain promotion. The only thing standing in his way is boss Dave (Kevin Spacey), who, as he says himself, treats him as his "bitch".

Accountant Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) loves his boss Jack (played by Donald Sutherland). But when he has a massive heart attack, the company's taken over by his evil, cokehead son Bobby (an excellent, and hardly recognisable, Colin Farrell).

It's not so bad for Dale (Charlie Day) who's being sexually harassed by his superior. But then again she is a dentist who wants a good filling -- and she is played by Jennifer Aniston. Only problem is, Dale is engaged to be married and his boss is trying to blackmail him into sleeping with her.


Vowing to change their worthless lives, the three hire a hitman consultant -- an African-American called Motherf**ker -- and the movie descends from wry social commentary into pure farce.

If you want car chases, prison rape jokes, cocaine overdoses, brushing a backside with a toothbrush and racial stereotyping, look no further. It's just a pity that a good idea ran out of steam and became a modern, but not so good, revenge comedy in the style of Trading Places.

Still, there are laughs -- and the three leads are excellent.

Extras: My Least Favorite Career -- the cast and director talk about their worst jobs. Featurettes on Surviving a Horrible Boss; cast interviews and 10 minutes of deleted scenes.