Director: Sean Anders Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day Synopsis: Dale, Kurt and Nick decide to start their own business but things don’t go as planned because of a slick investor, prompting the trio to pull off a harebrained and misguided kidnapping scheme Rating: 15 Runtime: 108 minutes
When Horrible Bosses made its way into cinemas back in 2011, no one expected the kind of success that would follow. The film made over $200 million internationally, and those are the type of numbers that simply do not get ignored in Hollywood. Simply put, a sequel was always likely. Fast forward to 2014 and we are now presented with Horrible Bosses 2. A film that exists solely because the first film made a lot of money, and the studio are hoping that this one will too, and they’d probably be right.
The plot this time around, centres around our three witless heroes going into business for themselves, only to get screwed over by sly business investor Bert Hanson, played unnecessarily by Christoph Waltz, who claims an interest in the trios new invention, the Shower Buddy. Hanson uses his wits and ruthless business knowhow to gain the trios trust, only to betray them at the last-minute. Not knowing what to do now all their money is gone, they decide the only plausible option is to kidnap Bert’s son Rex (Chris Pine), and claim a very healthy ransom in exchange for his safe return.
The plot barely exists in Horrible Bosses 2, as the film chooses to head from one gag to the next, instead of making any concerted effort to tell any kind of story. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as one would imagine the sole purpose of the film is to make as many people laugh as possible, and for the most part, it succeeds in its attempts. However, some gags do feel forced and probably looked better on paper. An early scene where Nick, Kurt and Dale demonstrate the Shower Buddy on live television, is one example of this.
Where the film does shine, is in its chemistry between Bateman, Sudeikis and Day as they riff off of each other, making the ad-libbed scenes some of the most memorable ones. These are the scenes that stuck with me after seeing the film, and it’s these scenes where the actors are working to make you laugh, instead of throwing a cheap visual gag or a racial slur at the screen.
Try as some of you might, it’s hard to dislike Horrible Bosses 2. Yes, it’s a cynical cash in to a surprise hit, and yes it will have you holding your head in shame at some of its scenes. But the workman like charm of these bumbling idiots makes for a very enjoyable watch, and one that will serve as a welcome distraction in the winter months.
In summary: At times, Horrible Bosses 2 is lazy and uninspired, and yet at others it is the perfect kind of “distraction” film. One that lets you leave your brain at the door, and simply enjoy the show.