Horrible Bosses 2 (Sean Anders, 2014)
Why would they make a Horrible Bosses 2 you ask? When the first one wasn’t even that good? Well, we could certainly do a lot worse. And as far as recent comedies go, Horrible Bosses is probably one of the better ones. In a similar vein to The Hangover and Jump Street franchises that have gone before, Horrible Bosses 2 sticks almost entirely to the plot of the original, but it’s still good enough fun, and it’s better than a Transformers movie.
Following on from 2011’s Horrible Bosses in which Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) hatch a plan to murder their respective bosses (they don’t – it’s a buddy comedy, duh), Horrible Bosses 2 involves a kidnapping scheme that is similarly wrought with problems. After being inspired to become their own bosses, our trio are screwed over by shady investors Bert (Christoph Waltz) and his son Rex (Chris Pine), leaving them facing bankruptcy. After much yelling over the top of each other, it is decided that kidnapping is the best option to reclaim their dough, and inevitably, shenanigans ensue.
Considering how similar it is to its predecessor, it’s surprising to discover that Horrible Bosses 2 has a new director (Sean Anders) as well as new screenwriters (Anders and John Morris). However, it’s possible that much of the humour is improvised by the same primary cast. Bateman, Sudeikis and Day all play off each other very well, though I couldn’t quite decide if their constant talking – and yelling – over the top of each other was hilarious or slightly irritating. Though I lean towards hilarious, some viewers will find it downright infuriating. Don’t try to follow the dialogue too closely, because you won’t be able to.
Chris Pine demonstrates surprising comic flair, and it’s also fun to see two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz in something as silly as this. Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx all make welcome returns and add some big name cred, though Spacey and Foxx’s appearances are fleeting. Aniston’s role is a bit iffy – if the genders were reversed there’s no way they’d get away with her character, being that she’s basically a would-be rapist (how HILARIOUS! Not) – and as a result many of her scenes feel awkward. That’s through no fault of her own however, and she proves her comic mettle once again.
The jokes are entertaining enough (if not absolutely gut-bustingly hilarious) and Bateman, Sudeikis and Day successfully share the laughs around equally. It may be too silly for some, but many viewers will leave the cinema with smiles on their faces. In that respect, Horrible Bosses 2 has done its job, but we don’t need a third.