Horrible Bosses (15/R, 97 mins)
Director: Seth Gordon
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
If you ignore the disappointment of The Hangover II, it’s been a rather good summer so far for bawdy comedies. That run is continued with Horrible Bosses, a no holds barred spin on the old Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton vehicle, 9 to 5. Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day star as three disgruntled friends who each loathe their respective bosses in the shapes of Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston. All miserable at their work, they hit on a scheme, a la Strangers on a Train, to kill each other’s bosses, which involves the hiring of a somewhat ineffectual hitman (Jamie Foxx). In terms of setting up their situation and antagonists, Seth Gordon and his writers do a cracking job, but what really makes Horrible Bosses tick are its stars. Heightened scenarios are played to perfection by a stellar line up, some like Bateman and Spacey doing their well honed thing, others like Aniston subverting their images with equal success. It’s daft but it’s hilarious, which is what matters most, and it builds with consistent laughs so that, while unquestionably ridiculous, it’s fresh and free enough to forgive. Feeble title notwithstanding, it’s up there with Bridesmaids as one of the year’s best comedies.