Summer Movie Body Count: R-rated 'Horrible Bosses' has fewer casualties than 'Cars 2'


Image Credit: John P. Johnson

Week 10 of of EW’s 2011 Summer Movie Body Count moves along with the raunchy comedy ‘Horrible Bosses’. While the characters in this funny flick don’t abide by any laws, morals, or rules, we most definitely do. Well, at least when it comes to the Body Count (give yourself a refresher on our guidelines for how this whole operation works here.) Now, as we always warn, there are some MAJOR SPOILERS ahead, so if you don’t want to know which characters don’t make it to the end credits, stop right here. Or, at the very least, duck out of work right now and take in a matinée. Your boss will understand.

Summer Movie Body Count is sort of like an Oprah giveaway episode in that it’s always full of surprises (and they may make you totally freak out.) We don’t just mean crazy, unexpected deaths, like when someone literally gets surprised to death. Rather, we refer to the difficulty of predicting how many (or how few) people will die. They just don’t make it easy on us like they used to. 8 Heads in a Duffle Bag? We could have easily guessed how many people die in that one (…eight, right?).

So while it’s safe to assume a lot of humans and sentient robots were going to meet their maker (a.k.a. Michael Bay) in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (sorry, Chicago!) , it’s hard to guess how many combat-trained pandas or talking cars would sadly, as Chandler Bing might argue, stop being drawn, in kid-friendly flicks like Kung Fu Panda 2 or Cars 2, respectively. Sure, cartoons have a history of violence (just ask Bambi, Simba and Nemo’s parents. Oh wait, you can’t. They’re dead). But we were still surprised to tally 12 deaths in both of those flicks (four in Panda, eight in Cars.)

While we may have been way off with our expectations/predictions of how much merchandise many characters would expire in those animated adventures, we were even further off when it came to Horrible Bosses. The risqué R-rated comedy about three fed-up friends (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day) who make a pact to take out their three respective horrible bosses (Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston) with the help of a crime consultant (Jamie Foxx). So right off the bat that’s got to be three deaths, right? Plus, since it’s a rated R, maybe they’ll throw a few more casualties just for kicks, right? RIGHT?!? (For added hilarity, imagine Charlie Day just shouted that at you.)

Wrong! Horrible Bosses adds just two deaths to add to our Summer Movie Body Count. The first happens early in the flick when we meet Kurt (Sudeikis) and his decidedly un-horrible boss, Jack Pellit, played by Donald Sutherland. Turns out, not only is Mr. Pellit a nice guy who helps the environment, but he treats his employees like family (including, his own terrible son Bobby, played by a particularly heinous Colin Farrell, but more on him later) at the chemical plant he runs. Sadly, that all comes to a screeching halt when Mr. Pellit has a heart attack while driving home from work, and thus, the company is left in the hands of the reckless, heartless, and just plain stupid (he likens a crippled employee to Professor X) Bobby.

Of course, when Bobby takes over, Kurt and his buddies Dale (Day) and Nick (Bateman) all officially have loathsome employers. While Kurt is plagued with the task of keeping the company afloat and his co-workers from getting fired while Bobby snorts coke and gets lap dances in his office, Dale is getting sexually harassed, blackmailed, and arguably, raped by his dentist boss Julia Harris (Aniston) and Nick is being belittled, lied to, and forcibly intoxicated at 8 a.m. by his company’s conniving president Dave Harken (Spacey), who cruelly kept him so late at work one night he couldn’t say goodbye to his Gam-Gam before she died. Even worse, Harken laughs when he finds out Nick called his now-deceased grandmother Gam-Gam. Yep, these bosses needed to get murdered and murdered good. But, rather than do it themselves, they opt to hire someone else to do the dirty deed (done dirt cheap).

After some misguided Craigslist hit man meetings (FYI: “wet work” has nothing to do with killing anyone) the guys stumble across murder consultant Dean “Motherf—er” Jones (Foxx) who, after some misguided information about his crime-filled past, convinces the trio to murder each other’s bosses instead. Of course, Kurt, Dale, and Nick prove inept as hitmen, leaving traces of themselves, and thanks to a toothbrush prank, their DNA, everywhere they go.

Still, their clueless behavior pays off. During a break-in at Harken’s house, Kurt drops Bobby’s cell phone, which they’d lifted earlier from his den of drugs and god-awful decor. Turns out, Harken is insanely jealous of his beautiful, younger wife Rhonda (Julie Bowen) and suspects Bobby is having an affair with her. An enraged Harken (who later attempts to slay our, uh, heroes and admits that he’s killed before and liked it) then drives over to the tacky abode and shoots Bobby twice, killing him.

And that’s as far as the Body Count goes for Horrible Bosses, PopWatchers, with both father and son Pellit expiring. While Julia and Harken avoid getting slain, Kurt, Dale, and Nick still manage to deliver them with an even worse fate: Making their lives a living hell.

So, the two deaths in Horrible Bosses bring out SMBC total now to a whopping 388 (and we’ve still got a few more weeks of summer, folks!) But, does a ruthless Kevin Spacey busting a cap in the equally despicable Colin Farrell in Horrible Bosses mark the best summer death so far or did other characters simply die harder? Vote in the poll below!

Summer Movie Body Count: ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ proves that the PG-13 rating has failed
Summer Movie (Auto) Body Count: Getting mileage out of a surprising amount of car-nage in ‘Cars 2′
Summer Movie Body Count: The soul-sucking Parallax lays waste to ‘Green Lantern’

Comments (16 total) Add your comment
  • Lindsay

    I can only imagine how large the list will grow when you add everyone who dies in Potter. Less than 4 days!

  • Mr. Holloway

    “Week 10 of of EW’s 2011 Summer Movie Body Count…”
    “While the characters is the funny flick don’t abide by any laws…”
    “Fung Fu Panda 2″?!

    I hate to be that guy, but two mistakes in the first two sentences and more typos to follow…step your game up, EW!

    • Grammar Nazi

      Oh really???


      • Mr. Holloway

        If you were really a Grammar Nazi, you’d know that mistakes like these actually have less to do with bad grammar and more to do with being completely careless.

        (Honestly people…give your blog entries a quick once over before you publish them. Or have a co-worker take a quick peek at it.)

  • Gabe

    The death count of Harry Potter will certainly be fun! Can’t wait for it!!

    • Jose

      So will the body count for Winnie the Pooh!

  • Ramury

    I know there is a spoiler alert at the top of this article, BUT that was a LOT of detailed info on the plot in this a posting. I’m just saying…

  • Fingerlakes Dave

    What a useless re-run article…

  • e4ia

    Also, who would have guessed at the beginning of the summer that a film with Jennifer Aniston would have double the postive Rotten Tomato rating of a Pixar film.

  • Anonymus

    How many deaths will Harry Potter, Captain America, Cowboys and Aliens, and Winne the Pooh have?

  • Drew

    The following is all written in sentence:
    “So while it’s safe to assume a lot of humans and sentient robots were going to meet their maker (a.k.a. Michael Bay) in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (sorry, Chicago!) , it’s hard to guess how many combat-trained pandas or talking cars would sadly, as Chandler Bing might argue, stop being drawn, in kid-friendly flicks like Kung Fu Panda 2 or Cars 2, respectively.”

    Please, please, please learn to use the full stop.

    • Jessica

      I like these words! I agree with Dylan that identity feels key with these plays. Not sure how to best phsrae it, but I am struck by the paradoxical-ness of these characters’ (and our own, of course) quest for identity: how we define ourselves against others (I am different!) while at the same time striving to belong (I just want to be like everyone else!).Perhaps: fitting in to a group and/or fitting into ourselves.

    • Akhil

      Eragon wasn’t just a Tolkien ripoff. He ripepd off le Guin and McCaffrey too. But I’ve honestly read worse. I’d gladly read Eragon again before picking up Weis and Hickman again. Or anything written by Terry Brooks.Eldest was awful though. Not because it borrowed liberally from other superior writers. I kind of expected that. The whole narrative scheme of the novel was just broken. You can literally skip all the parts about his home town and you’ll never miss it. Why did he include them in the first place? Well Jordan did something similar in the Wheel of Time I guess.I must say that the whole lot of it makes sense once you realize that Paolini’s parents are also his original publishers.

  • tresorparis

    Great article. I cant wait to hear more about your research tool. If it is as good as your other products, then you will have another winner. Your article pretty much summed up what I have been seeing too. Great to see some hard data.

  • craigslist posting tool

    You can certainly see your skills in the paintings you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

  • Kazumi

    As we narrow down the cpnceots that provide the greatest connective tissue, I find myself drawn most to the relationship between identity and perception. I’m reminded of cognitive psychologists who study the stage in our earliest development when we first encounter a mirror, and the degree to which it takes some time to make sense of the experience. Over time, our ever-evolving sense of self is further challenged by the reflection we see in the eyes of others. But are the paradigms we use to think about and form identity ever adequate?Season theme: Do we ever fully resolve the Mirror Stage ?Themes for each of the plays:Oblivion: What are the screens through which we search for self?Want: Is life better navigated by searching inward or outward?Man in Love: Is anyone ultimately knowable?

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