DIRECTOR: Sean Andershorrible_bosses_two_ver2

CAST: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Banks, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Stables

RUNNING TIME: 108 mins

CERTIFICATE: 15

BASICALLY…: After getting screwed over by a slimy investor (Waltz), hapless criminals Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudeikis) and Dale (Day) attempt to save their new company by plotting to kidnap the investor’s son (Pine)…

 

NOW FOR THE REVIEW…

If ever there was a sequel to a movie that was just begging to be made… it wasn’t Horrible Bosses 2.

About as unnecessary as you can get with modern comedy sequels, the follow-up to the surprise 2011 hit – which saw pushed-about morons Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) attempt to murder their obnoxious bosses with disastrous results – has absolutely no real reason for existing, nor does it even try to justify its existence. It is one made purely for those that liked the original, and that’s it; anyone else who thought it was an overrated comedy to begin with will want to avoid this one at all costs.

This reviewer’s thoughts on the original? Eh, it was okay. And their thoughts on the sequel? Eh, it was okay.

Pointless though it may be, it does at the very least try to avoid retreading the first film’s plot as much as possible. This time, the witless trio decide to become their own bosses and set up their own company with an unintentionally racist name (let’s just say putting the names of Bateman’s, Sudeikis’, and Day’s characters in that order doesn’t sound great when you say it out loud). When they get screwed over by Christoph Waltz’s oily investor and his douchebag son Rex (Chris Pine, clearly having a ball with his energetic physical comedy), they settle on a “kidnaping” plot instead of yet another murder scheme which may turn out to go far better (or, more likely, worse) than they had imagined. We give the film credit in not completely going the Hangover route in doing EXACTLY the same schtick as the first one, though in terms of self-referential sequels it comes nowhere close to replicating the success of 22 Jump Street.

Whenever the film does decide to repeat itself and what came before it, things become a little hackneyed. Certain jokes from the first film, mostly based on the lead trio’s baffling stupidity, are repeated to little success and aren’t as fresh and amusing as they were the first time around. Speaking of the lead three, the film depends far too often on the banter between the actors, and simple dialogue scenes go on for much longer than they need to thanks to their non-stop Apatow-ian improv skills. They do still have a decent chemistry with each other, but it’s exploited to the nth degree here to a point where it can become rather annoying. Some of their acts in the movie are far stupider than before, and these weren’t the brightest bulbs to begin with; their sheer incompetency can conjure some laughter amidst the lame-brained nature of it all, but for the most part you really want to punch these guys in the face in account of their idiocy. Hell, even Nigel Farage would be telling them to grow a brain-cell.

In addition, we are treated to a few returning characters who have no other reason for being there other than their high-profile status; case in point, Jennifer Aniston who reprises her role as sex-crazed dentist Julia. Though the actress seems like she’s having fun up to a point, let’s face the depressing facts: the only reason she’s back is because the testosterone-laden film needs its obligatory sex object to lust over and mock for her promiscuity (she is, at one point, seen in a sex addicts meeting where she lusts over whatever foul deviancy she can think of). Now don’t get us wrong, Aniston is and always has been a very attractive woman, but here it’s a shame that out of the entire male-dominated cast the one major role for a woman is written as a deceitful, maniacal and – in one disturbing punchline – rapey. The film’s uncomfortable misogyny will not win over many female viewers, but what else did you expect from the director of That’s My Boy?

All that aside, though, Horrible Bosses 2 still ranks as just “okay” for this reviewer. Why? Is it because there were, frankly, a few decent laughs despite there being too few in between? Because, as far as unnecessary sequels go, it at least tries to be something different even if there’s no reason for it existing in the first place? No, it’s because they also thought the first film was “okay”. And seeing how anyone’s reaction to this film will be based almost entirely on their judgement of the first instalment of Horrible Bosses, we therefore leave it with the simple reaction of “eh”.

SO, TO SUM UP…

Horrible Bosses 2 is a completely unnecessary comedy sequel that ranks up the idiocy and (sadly) the misogyny to a whole new level, but it earns points for at least trying to be something different to its predecessor. Horrible? No, but it’s not enough to earn Employee of the Month either…