Movie Review: ‘Horrible Bosses 2’
Director: Sean Anders
Cast: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Chris Pine, Jennifer Aniston, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey
Plot: Having become their own bosses with the invention of the ‘Shower Buddy’, the trio think they’re living the good life. When their investors turn out to be two-faced they try to resolve their problems via kidnapping.
Review: What warrants the production of a sequel? Is it the ending being left open enough to naturally progress the story like Star Wars? Perhaps we have characters fascinating enough that we want to see where they go next like in The Godfather. Sometimes they hit upon a winning formula that can be successfully repeated across the decades like the ‘James Bond’ franchise.
More often than not it’s because there’s a chance some money can be made. It’s why every series splits its final entry into two needlessly padded movies, and it’s why we have Horrible Bosses 2. Now I know it’s not fair to compare Horrible Bosses to The Godfather, Star Wars or ‘James Bond’ movies – it’s certainly not what they were shooting for – but it helps to highlight how pointless this film is. The story was about them dealing with their awful bosses, and they’d done that. The characters were literally three comedians doing their well known schtick. It wasn’t a genre defining film by any stretch. They only reason to continue the franchise is because the accountants have run a risk assessment and declared it an investment with a good return.
So Bateman, Day and Sudeikis return as…actually, I have no idea what their characters are called even though it forms a running gag in the film, because they are playing Bateman, Day and Sudeikis. You couldn’t spliced in unused footage from Arrested Development or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and the audience would be none the wiser. What made Horrible Bosses fun to watch wasn’t the lead actors though, it was Aniston, Spacey and Farrell over-acting as their demented bosses. You’d need someone pretty awesome to step into those shoes. And yes, Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz are capable of doing something to that effect.
Not that they feature much. It take a FULL HOUR for the plot to sort itself out enough for the main kidnapping story to get underway (you know, that thing that is featured on the posters and in the trailers). First we have the trio of ‘heroes’ marketing their new product on live TV with embarrassing results. This could’ve been the start of a plot about them managing their own business but it doesn’t go anywhere. After they get their investors they start hiring their staff, with their different personalities clashing over the hiring choices and potential sexual harassment problems. Ok, that’s a good concept – maybe THEY have become the ‘horrible bosses’ themselves, but that scene doesn’t go anywhere either. Eventually we have Pine and Waltz doing more than cameo scenes and getting involved in the plot, but all they bring to the table is a less interesting Capt. Kirk and a watered down Hans Landa.
In that weird habit of modern sequels, the studio seems strangely unwilling to let go of any characters regardless of how little they factor into the new story (Pirates of the Caribbean sequels suffered greatly for this reason). So we get Kevin Spacey in two scenes that were filmed in an afternoon, a tangental retread of the plot with Aniston’s sex-crazed dentist and Jamie Foxx’s ‘Motherfucker Jones’ looking bored. They had nothing but running time to an already overlong movie. Plus there’s the guy from Breaking Bad basically playing the same character because people will recognise him.
Gripping aside, there’s one question that must be given the most consideration: is it funny? Well, not really. If you think the jokes from the first movie slightly reworded is worth the cost of another ticket then you’ll have a blast but there’s very little on offer here. There’s certainly no laugh out loud moments like Charlie Day singing to the Ting Tings while whacked out on cocaine. Best ignored.
Rating: THREE out of TEN