“I’m pretty fair about being objective, and I really enjoyed the first one as a viewer,” Bateman said. “I watched this one with that same perspective and I genuinely liked it even more than the first. So I’m actually feeling kind of fullish. If people see it the way I see it, they’re going to be very happy with this one. I’m feeling good.” That’s how my Horrible Bosses 2 interview concluded. I went in to this film, taking those words to heart and they were partially-true.
After getting rid of their horrible bosses, Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman), Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) found themselves without a job. Rather than looking for another one, they decided to become entrepreneurs and invent the “shower buddy”. This invention grabs the eye of Rex Hanson (Chris Pine), the son of a young millionaire who makes the gentleman an offer. When he can’t close the deal, his father Bert (Christoph Waltz) comes in to the picture and makes an offer that the trio couldn’t possibly turn down.
Having spent much of their own money to create the products for Bert, Nick, Kurt, and Dale return to him with the order and are ready to collect their cash. That is, until Bert cancels the order and tells them that he’s going to take control of their company during auction, for a lower price. Outraged, the three men seek the counsel of Mother F*cker Jones (Jamie Foxx) and conclude that they’ll kidnap Rex and hold him ransom. However, things get a bit interesting when Rex volunteers to be a captive, wanting to get back at his father.
Horrible Bosses 2, more or less, provides the same amount of laughter in a similar fashion as the first one did. The cast is all back, save for Collin Farell, and they’ve added a lot of great talent that surprises in more than one way. This film certainly has a different feel than the first, but it does feel familiar enough to where you’re comfortable with everything going on. For as many laugh-out-loud moments as there are, there are just as many uncomfortable silences that fill the theater. If you liked the first film, chances are that you’re going to enjoy this one too.
Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis remain the standout male talent in the film, as their characters are perfectly opposite to the point where they seem like the perfect duo. Bateman balances composure and smart-ass remarks, while Sudeikis’ blind sexual ambition and unabashed remarks create tension between the two. The two have such a knack for improvisation and they play well off of one another. Day is more excitable than them and is rather hit-or-miss, but he’s tolerable here. Jennifer Aniston, whom I thought made the last film even better, continues to stun and amuse me with what comes out of her mouth. She doesn’t let up with the profanity and gets outrageously sexual. Kevin Spacey was only around for a short time, but he did make use of it with offensive and hurtful humor.
Chris Pine brings a lot more to the table than I initially thought he would. Known for his rugged good-looks and heroic roles, Pine is more zany than we’ve ever seen him before and he has a ton of fun playing funny. His character is kooky and is really great with physical humor. He does an especially great job of adapting to the humor of the three stooges and playing around with their timing. Christoph Waltz is oddly funny, but still provides more serious work. His character has that impeccable diction and frightening look to him, but Waltz adds some flare and short humor to his natural role. Jamie Foxx has some more fun and gets to wreak some havoc on the road, all the while looking badass while sipping his straw.
Director Sean Anders certainly brought a lot to this project, in terms of the action and story. The overall look and feel of the film is very fast-paced and there’s more of a sense of adventure, amid all the kidnapping and talk of ransoms. There’s a car chase that’s equal parts fun and funny and Anders focus on the men’s faces makes everything more amusing. He has a good eye for comedy, but his writing could use some improvement. Fortunately, the main stars can improvise their way through a scene, but no one can save forced humor. Ander’s sets up sequences that feel as if they’re from another film genre and attempts to casually insert them in this comedy. Sometimes they work, but most often they do feel too much out-of-place and get in the way of the comedy that’s trying to get you to laugh.
The biggest detractor in this film, for me, was the fact that some scenes were too improvised and everyone talking over one another. It’s funny for the first few instances, but Charlie Day trying to out-talk everyone is just obnoxious. Some of the humor gets lost as the men are grasping for air and coming up short. Much like the first film, this one relies a lot of very raunchy and dirty humor which works for a bit, but then gets rather obscure. The plot and how things play out isn’t too different from how things went down in the first film and you have a good idea of everything that’s going to happen. Even the “twists and turns” that the cast alluded to were predictable.
Horrible Bosses 2 is cut from the same cloth as the first film, but the additional cast members do add some much-needed comedy to the film. Everything that worked about the first film, works here. The same can be said for everything that didn’t work in the first film. You’re going to laugh, you might feel slightly uncomfortable, and you might be left wondering why the film goes the way it does. There’s more fun and excitement this time around, but I do believe the film could have been a lot better.
Horrible Bosses 2 Trailer