One night, the trio of friends begin to fantasize about killing their employers, and before long, they’ve decided to go through the harebrained scheme. To pull it off, they decide to find a hitman, and thus launch the series of events chronicled in the 2011 comedy Horrible Bosses.
Horrible Bosses boasts a veritable all-star cast, with the titular bosses being played by Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell. Each is cast to perfection and exploit their popular persona for many of the movie’s biggest laughs. For instance, we’ve seen Kevin Spacey cast as a psychopath before; he strikes many of the same chords in his performance as the sadistic David Harken.
It’s also a well-plotted movie. It pulls a few genuine surprises out of the storytelling closet, and with a half hour to go, the movie dramatically changes tone and direction, a development I was not expecting in the least. It’s also a movie that knows the previous examples of this kind of movie – citing such movies as Strangers on a Train and Throw Momma from the Train, as well as taking a potshot at the Ethan Hawke movie Snow Falling on Cedars. Because the script is familiar with the typical directions such movies take, it’s easier for it to exploit our expectations as viewers.