Horrible Bosses

It’s safe to say everyone has had their share of awful co-workers.  Such people can make a difference in getting the job done or not at all - which is why it’s easy empathising with the characters in Horrible Bosses.   While some may have their fill of their employers, one shouldn’t take the drastic route Horrible Bosses’ strange characters do even if it proves certain people need to be avoided at any cost.


Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) are three friends in despair.  Working under some appalling bosses including emotionally abusive Dave (Kevin Spacey) and drug addicted rich boy Bobby (Colin Farrell) they plan to eradicate them from their lives.  They hire ‘murder consultant’ Mr. Jones (Jamie Foxx) who suggests they each murder each other’s employers to avoid suspicion.  The plan is easier said than done as they fumble their way through murder and mayhem in a bid to end their work-place misery.


Taking its cue from The Hangover-style of broad comedy, Horrible Bosses is the better production.  The added element of wit is the main reason it works as the actors, including Jennifer Aniston as a very randy dentist, have a grand time in delivering the sharply urbane dialogue.  Whilst crude humour creeps in, it never detracts from an easy-flowing plot not out-staying its welcome.


Another aspect making it a success is the situation itself is one people can relate.  While the overall story may be outlandish the mannerisms of some of the characters are ones everyone has seen and have tried to put up with.  This mix of realistic and slapstick comedy blends with the finely cast performers bravely pushing the boundaries of their roles.


Horrible Bosses should hit the mark for those wanting a fun time.  Consistently amusing, it won’t win any awards but for raising smiles it should be tops with viewers only knowing too well how bad some workplaces can be.


Rating out of 10:  7

Conan the Barbarian

Created by Robert E. Howard in 1932, Conan the Barbarian has run the gamut of popular culture.  Comics, novels, games and most famously a set of films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1980’s, the character’s popularity shows no sign of waning.  This latest interpretation of the series should add to the allure with a well-crafted romp utilising the concept to maximum effect.


When his village is attacked and his father murdered by vicious warlord Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang), Conan (Jason Momoa) sets out to find him.  His quest is made all the more difficult as he battles an array of witches, warriors and women.  With his brute force his only weapon, Conan aims to defeat those in his path and claim victory on behalf of the weak and oppressed.


Much like those old movie serials of yore, Conan the Barbarian finds the hero in one scrap after another.  It’s certainly a fast moving yarn with Director Marcus Nispel zipping along from one action spectacle to the next. He’s well served by Momoa who gives a more laconic rendition of Conan than seen previously.  Whilst these add freshness to the franchise, it perhaps could have used a little more of the rich mythology to tell its tale.


Although without any name stars, Conan’s main attraction are the special effects which are suitably eye-catching.  Thankfully the script services the CGI instead of the other way around and logically follows Conan on his quest with fine skill.   Fans of the original Schwarzenegger film may quibble about the lack of reverential seriousness although any solid creation can withstand many interpretations.  Conan the Barbarian definitely doesn’t disgrace the legacy bequeathed it and is a fun slice of escapism.


A mix of the ‘sword and sandal’ epics of the 50’s and with a lead almost as rugged as Victor Mature Conan the Barbarian should find some new fans.  No doubt its creator would marvel at how long lasting his idea has been with this latest version giving it a new lease on life.


Rating out of 10:  6