Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)

Horrible Bosses 2.jpg
Same shit, different day

Director: Sean Anders
Running Time: 108 Minutes
Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Chris Pine, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Kevin Spacey

It all feels so familiar. 2011 hit comedy Horrible Bosses came out of nowhere, made a killing at the box office and elevated the profiles of its three leads. So far, so Hangover. Unfortunately, that's followed through to the sequel, as things turn into a poor rehash of the first film, beat for beat.

Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudeikis) and Dale (Day) have quit their jobs to make money from an invention of their own. Things appear to take a promising turn when successful investor Burt Hanson (Waltz) and his son (Pine) take an interest and agree to selling 10,000 units of the product. Unfortunately, their true intentions are to bankrupt the trio and sell the product for their own gain. Furious at the double-cross, the trio turn to another crime: kidnapping.

Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day are each charismatic in their own right, as well as with one another, managing to light up their scenes as best as possible. However, there's a glaring problem in-between films, Kurt and Dale have gone from hapless buffoons to complete idiots. Watching the proceedings, it's a complete miracle they don't trip over their own feet and crash head-first into the concrete.

It's clear they're happy, and know it.

Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston make obligatory returns, but upon viewing their scenes, the smart thing would have been to decline the return. Their appearances feel like little more than pointless filler, with the former only appearing to say variations of how the leads are morons, and the latter to make tired sexual gags, one after another. Jamie Foxx at least manages to entertain in his return, but spare a thought for his Django Unchained co-star, as Christoph Waltz is unfortunately wasted in a forgettable role. Chris Pine at least manages to entertain as he goes full-out crazed, even if it's plain to see the direction his character will end up at by the film's end.

For a comedy film, it's always terrible to say the jokes are one of the weakest links. It signifies that the film has failed in its overall aim, but that's sadly true in this instance. Much of the humor is certainly dated (I thought the sexual silhouette routine was extinct), but the worst thing is the tasteless attempts that are utilized. Not only do we have some misogyny and blatant racism, but also a scene that sets up a joke where rape is the punchline. Each of these moments stink of desperation for laughs, and are as welcome as Colin Farrell cameoing as the shambling corpse of his deceased character.

After 108 Minutes, there is little to justify the existence of Horrible Bosses 2 as more than another reason why comedy sequels are treated with such trepidation. Here's hoping we don't have the misfortune of this turning into an unnecessary trilogy.