Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 2011. New Line Cinema, Rat Entertainment. Screenplay by Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein. Cinematography by David Hennings. Produced by Brett Ratner, Jay Stern. Music by Christopher Lennertz. Production Design by Shepherd Frankel. Costume Design by Carol Ramsey. Film Editing by Peter Teschner.
Combine The Hangover with 9 To 5 and you have this winningly enjoyable comedy that shines in the Men Behaving Badly genre. Jason Bateman works in the financial industry for the evil, soulless Kevin Spacey, who gives insulting lectures to him whenever he’s a minute late and overworks him with promises of promotion that will never come to fruition. Charlie Day works for nymphomaniac dentist Jennifer Aniston as her assistant and has to put up with her advances every single day, she getting as manipulative as possible in her aims to get him in the sack. Jason Sudeikis is account manager of a chemical company and loves his boss (Donald Sutherland) but loses him quickly and must soon put up with his insane son (Colin Farrell in a hilarious toupee) who is only interested in hookers and cocaine. When these three best friends get together and finally decide to do something about their terrible work situation, they come up with the most ridiculous possible plan: they’re going to hire a hit man and get all their bosses killed. Unfortunately, their idea of finding a hit man is to look one up on Google. Fast-paced, relentlessly funny and often quite clever, the film enjoys a thrilling sense of adventure without ever getting too overindulgent: jokes are whipped out in a brisk fashion and hit sharply without being beaten beyond their limit (in short, this is not a Will Ferrell movie) and the weight of evil bosses is stacked quite appropriately in the right order. Farrell is not on screen enough to make a huge impression, and while Aniston pulls off the role-reversing sexiness of her character she lacks all the terrifying menace that it requires, but Spacey’s riff on his Swimming With Sharks character is a downright scene-chewing nightmare; parodying himself provides him with his most appealing screen appearance in years.