Review: Horrible Bosses 2
The three blabbering, bumbling leads of Horrible Bosses are back for more familiar immature antics and frustrating incoherency; and there is no escape.
When it comes to watching dumb, loud men on screen doing dumb, loud things, there needs to be some modicum of sympathy and likeability in order to tolerate their shenanigans. Charlie Day, Jason Bateman, and Jason Sudeikis appear here coasting on their boyish looks and past good will as they feature in increasingly annoying scenarios.
It’s history repeating if film if you’ve seen the first, as Horrible Bosses 2 puts our barely loveable buffoons at the short of the big, bad stick of American business. Finding life as entrepreneurs just as treacherous and unfair as working for others, the trio of literally unbelievably shortsighted engineers seeks vengeance once again, this time on a wealthy tycoon and his reckless son.
A kidnapping plot goes awry early and often, finding these rubes stealing laughing gas from a sex-crazed dentist (Jennifer Aniston), seeking business advice from an imprisoned boss (Kevin Spacey), and soliciting wisdom from a criminal (Jamie Fox) all the while trying to sneak up on the cocky heir Rex Hanson (Chris Pine). Of course, they’re not too sure that his father (Christoph Waltz) even wants him back, and every slight twist and turn is seen coming miles ahead.
Uninventive and occasionally funny at best, Horrible Bosses 2 is instantly forgettable, with a credits sequence that is not only funnier than the film itself, but almost makes you forget how uneventful and annoying the preceding was.
It doesn’t just suffer from the common sequel malaise that comedies face; it’s disingenuous and incongruent. Sean Anders writes and directs, taking over the helming duties from Seth Gordon, and follows roughly the same path as the first, rehashing identical jokes that Spacey, Aniston, and Foxx made in the first film.
The newcomers do well to add some life to the story, as Waltz and Pine serve to make the film watchable. It’s when we return to our familiar leads that we dissolve into grotesque sexual jokes and frenetic, childlike behavior that is nowhere near as cute or charming as it needs to be. It worked before; not again.