Director: Seth Gordon.
Cast: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx.
WE'VE all had bosses that we didn't get along with (haven't we?) but did it ever get so bad you considered killing your employer?
Probably not, but that's the slightly contrived yet engaging set-up for this very funny yet stupid black comedy.
On one side is best mates Nick, Dale and Kurt (Bateman, Day and Sudeikis), who each have a boss that makes their daily lives hellish.
For the promotion-seeking Nick it's the manipulative bastard Dave Harken (Spacey), for soon-to-be-married Dale it's the sexually aggressive Julia (Aniston), and for Kurt it's the coked-up moron Bobby Pellitt (Farrell).
The obvious solution - kill their horrible bosses.
Here's the first problem in an otherwise hilarious film: the movie has to work very hard to ensure that this is the obvious solution.
"Why don't you just quit?" is a reasonable question to ask, forcing the script to introduce various blackmail plots plus a character from their old high school who was voted "most likely to succeed" yet is now reduced to performing sexual favours in toilets because there are no jobs due to the global financial crisis. The main characters' tendencies to always go for the stupidest option also lowers the intelligence of the film, which was probably hoping to be a comment on the current employment climate in the US.
But, having said that, the film is incredibly funny and even surprising in places. The ending might be predictable but how it gets there is interesting, with only a few flat spots along the way - such as when they do recon on their bosses or Ioan Gruffudd's bit part as a "wet work" consultant.
The key to the laughs is its lead trio. Bateman, Day and Sudeikis work hilariously and naturally together and draw laughs from dark places - a conversation about being raped in jail is turned into one of the funniest jokes in the film, while their interaction with Foxx's strangely named murder consultant is equally good.
They are well supported by the three bosses, with Aniston and Farrell clearly relishing their against-type roles, while Spacey does bastard brilliantly.
It's far from perfect, but it features more laughs than Bad Teacher and The Hangover Part II combined.