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Horrible Bosses 2 (A Movie Review)

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses 2


Starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Banks, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Stables, Suzy Nakamura, Brendan Hunt and Lindsey Sloane.

Screenplay by Sean Anders and John Morris.

Directed by Sean Anders.

Distributed by Warner Bros.  108 minutes.  Rated R.

I’m not sure that anyone in the world has really been waiting around for a sequel to Horrible Bosses, even though the original was pretty entertaining.

But here it is, complete with bigger stunts, two new (and generally less interesting) bosses (played by Christopher Pine and the completely wasted Christoph Waltz), the return of two of the three old bosses (Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston – Colin Farrell’s character was killed off in the original) doing less interesting cameos, a beefed up cameo for Jamie Foxx and a new, even more inept heist.

Is there any reason for Horrible Bosses 2 to exist?  (Other than to pocket the studio a little fast cash?)  No probably not.  Is it as good as the original?  Absolutely, no.  Is it still kind of amusing?  Yeah, got to admit that it is.

Horrible Bosses 2 is not a very good film, but as turn-your-mind-off action comedies go, you could do a hell of a lot worse.

This is almost entirely due to the three stars – Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day – whose goofy camaraderie is still eminently watchable.  These guys know how to play off of each other, and that smart connection makes everything feel fresher than it is.

Which is probably a good thing, because if anything the new screenplay by director Sean Anders and his collaborator John Morris is even more mean-spirited than the original script by Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein.

And not mean-spirited in a good way, either.  There are multiple jokes which are homophobic, racist and sexist.  Just because we like the characters who say them, does that make it right?  I rather think not.

Storywise, on the other hand, it’s pretty much the same damned thing.  The guys – Nick, Kurt and Dale (and saying their name quickly and in order is the setup for a really, really bad joke) – decide they are tired of working for others, so they invent their own product.

This product is called “The Shower Buddy,” a shower head that dispenses shampoo.  Beyond the fact that this seems like a pretty ridiculous and unneeded product – who is really so lazy that getting shampoo out of a bottle is a major problem? – the guys are sure that it is their road to riches.

Despite a disastrous appearance on a local TV info-tainment show, a major catalogue company offers them a huge bid.  However, it turns out that the father and son who own the company (Waltz and Pine) completely screw the guys over.  Desperate, they decide to kidnap the son to get the money to save their business.

Sounds like a pretty dumb idea, right?  Of course.  But that’s the whole point of the series, a group of nice normal guys who get delusions of gangsta grandeur and end up hopelessly over their head.  The payoff is significantly more modest in Horrible Bosses 2, but the idea still has a little juice left in it.  And, luckily for the filmmakers, the stars have the skills to make it seem much better than it really is.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2014 All rights reserved. Posted: November 26, 2014.

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