Corporate cog Nick (Jason Bateman) has a horrible boss: sadistic micro manager Harken (Kevin Spacey).
Dental assistant Dale (Charlie Day) has a horrible boss: sexual predator Julia (Jennifer Aniston).
Accountant Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) has a nice boss – fatherly Jack (Donald Sutherland) – but then the old boy clocks off permanently, leaving his corrupt douchebag of a son (Colin Farrell) in charge.
Clearly, the only solution is to kill these bosses, horribly. So beer buddies Nick, Dale and Kurt agree to slaughter each other’s supervisors...
Swapping murders? It’s the same plot hook as Strangers On A Train and ‘remake’ Throw Momma From The Train (both slyly namedropped by the script). But don’t expect the psychological nuance of vintage Hitchcock; Seth Gordon’s (Four Christmases) revenge-com is pure and simple a vicarious fix for pissed-off wage-slaves everywhere.
Yet it’s the bosses themselves having the most fun. With our heroes styled as relatable everyguys (a Jason Bateman speciality), their tormentors are cackling devils. Farrell wins the anti-vanity award, with a combover and pot-belly make-under. If Spacey is essentially reprising his Swimming With Sharks (1994) VP-from-hell, no one does pitiless power-abuse better.
As for Aniston, if you’ve seen the banana-teasing, hotdog-swallowing trailer, you’ve only seen half the lewd lengths she goes to as a gleefully irredeemable, meat-seeking missile.
Besides this axis of evil, scenes are smoothly stolen by Jamie Foxx as ‘murder consultant’ Motherfucker Jones.
The story behind his Oedipal moniker is a highlight; like the film, it’s not as dark as you imagine, but it will get you grinning.
Frantic, funny and packed full of big names behaving badly – Ioan Gruffudd, OMG...