At one time or another everyone has fantasized about, if not killing, then at least doing grievous bodily harm to an employer. The guys in Horrible Bosses, the 2011 comedy starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis, actually tried to make their fantasies reality.
The idea of squaring off against the boss man struck a chord with a lot of people and the movie raked in more than $100 million. So the inevitable sequel, Horrible Bosses 2, hit theatres earlier this week.
They’ll have to go some ways to top the last trio of bad bosses: Jennifer Aniston as a foul-mouthed sexual predator with a bad habit of using laughing gas as foreplay; a manic boss with no scruples in the form of Kevin Spacey; and a drug-addled loser with a penchant for cocaine and masseuses who inherits a business from his papa, played by Colin Farrell, who berates his employees for coming in late after attending his dad’s and their old boss’s funeral.
“Well, maybe that excuse would have flown when my dad was here, but I’m in charge now.”
But even that terrible trio pales in comparison to the worst movie bosses of all time.
One of the worst is Working Girl’s Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver). Parker is two-faced, and attempts to pass off her trusted secretary Tess McGill’s (Melanie Griffith) ideas as her own. Roger Ebert said of Weaver’s performance, “From her first frame on the screen, she has to say all the right things while subtly suggesting that she may not mean any of them.”
In the end, Tess teaches her a lesson about honesty and gets Katharine fired.
Katharine looks like a pussycat compared to Buddy Ackerman (Kevin Spacey), the tyrannical Hollywood producer in Swimming with Sharks.
“You are nothing!” he says to his new assistant Guy (Frank Whaley). “If you were in my toilet I wouldn’t bother flushing it. My bathmat means more to me than you!”
Guy finally snaps, kidnaps Buddy and tortures him. But in an unexpected twist, the extreme behaviour earns Buddy’s respect and Guy gets a promotion.
Finally, if you mix the swooping white hair and bad attitude of Cruella DeVille with the people skills of Vlad the Impaler, you will come up with Miranda Priestly, the worst boss in all of moviedom. Played by Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, Priestly is the editrix of a fictional fashion magazine called Runway who never met an assistant she couldn’t humiliate with a withering glance and a few choice words. “By all means, move at a glacial pace,” she says to newbie Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway). “You know how that thrills me.”