Director: Sean Anders
Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Aniston, Chritoph Waltz, Chris Pine, Kevin Spacey
I really enjoyed the first ‘Horrible Bosses’ movie, I thought it was clever, entertaining and very original. With a new director at the helm, Sean Anders, and an all star cast, I was expecting big things of this sequel. Unfortunately, ‘Horrible Bosses 2’ fails to deliver. The list of stars in this cast is without a doubt, very impressive, and each of them do a pretty reasonable job individually only to be let down by a very weak plot. The tagline reads: “NEW CRIME. SAME TOOLS”, which sadly is all too appropriate, with this movie feeling like a sequel just for the sake of having a sequel, nothing more than a money spinner.
‘Horrible Bosses 2’ sees the three losers-turned-criminals return, seeking revenge once again. When Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) hope to set up their own business and be their own boss, they can’t believe their luck when billionaire Bert Hanson (Waltz) orders the manufacture of 100,000 ‘Shower Buddy’ products. The trio are quickly screwed over once again however, with Bert backing out of a deal he never formally agreed on, instead planning to leave the three stooges with a massive debt and forced into a cheap sale of their inventory, which Hanson will take advantage of. Thus begins another elaborate plan to solve their problems through the means of illegal activity, with Nick, Kurt and Dale devising a plot to kidnap Hanson’s son, Rex (Chris Pine) and use the ransom money to save their business. When the kidnapping goes predictably wrong, Rex himself joins in the plan as a means of revenge against his dismissive father. Rex however, is of course just another in a long line of enemies for the trio and eventually becomes the ultimate villain by double-crossing them and killing his father to take it all. The kidnapping is drawn out across the whole movie, creating a rather slow and at times dull momentum to the plot. In terms of the ending, we get the pleasure of having the events fast-forwarded through Dale’s coma, only to have the conclusion explained to us by Nick and Kurt. Fantastic!
I can’t help but feel sorry for Jason Bateman. His dry, sardonic humour sets him apart from the silly, immaturity of the rest of the trio and the reluctance and pessimism he brings to the role of Nick provides the perfect contrast to the enthusiasm of his accomplices. Ironically, this matches my own feelings towards the plans where I find myself thinking “not again, please”. Jason Sudeikis is probably my least favourite element of the film, but I can’t work out if that’s him as an actor or a character. Kurt is supposedly the joker of the pack and a bit of a ladies’ man, but I see nothing more than a slightly moronic, slapstick character. Watch out for the gag reel at the end of the movie however, where Sudeikis does admittedly shine. Completing the group is Charlie Day, who provides some moments of humour, I guess. He can be a bit loud and theatrical but nonetheless, he is relatively entertaining and likeable. The support roles in the Horrible Bosses series are arguably the highlight. Jamie Foxx returns as hilarious street criminal, ‘Mother Fucker’ Jones, who is capable of being aggressive and funny at the same time. Jennifer Aniston reprises her role as nymphomaniac, Dr Julia Harris, but I feel her involvement in this movie was unnecessarily forced into the plot. The cameo role of Christoph Waltz as Bert Hansen was definitely a lot briefer than I had hoped, but Chris Pine made up for this. I’m a huge fan of his work in the ‘Star Trek’ franchise, and Pine brings the same cocky, confident attitude to the role of Rex.
I personally feel as though one of these movies was enough, the original being a good, enjoyable comedy. ‘Horrible Bosses 2’ however, just left me wondering why they had to make it. The term comedy is applied rather loosely to a film which, although funny at times, was not very memorable and most of the time it was more of a “yeah, that’s pretty funny” kinda moment, where I feel like I’m almost forcing myself to find the joke. By producing this tired sequel, the only thing I took from this movie was the hope that there isn’t a third installment to this series which has already taken liberties.