Director: Sean Anders
Cast: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz
Release Date: November 26th, 2014
The original Horrible Bosses, troche
which I noted was “mediocre at best, pill
” was driven by its concept. In the 2011 comedy, visit this
the three main characters (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day) were so fed up with their employers that they wanted them dead. In a plot similar to the one of Throw Momma from the Train, each of the three was tasked with killing the boss of one of the other members of the trio. The film had a few funny moments here and there but never really reached the comedic heights it was aiming for.
The sequel is much funnier.
Using the same three characters from the original, the plot is looser and more carefree than its predecessor which lets the actors thrive in their respective roles. As the story opens Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudeikis) and Dale (Day) have built a company together. Their product is the “Shower Buddy,” which— after its premiere on local television— attracts the attention of a seemingly kind-hearted businessman named Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz). Bert offers to buy much of their inventory if they fulfill a major order. Eventually though, the trio learns that Bert has betrayed them and, in order to raise the money to save their company, the trio opts to kidnap Bert’s conniving son Rex (Chris Pine).
Of course, the team that couldn’t work together in the original is more inept here leading to the kidnapping plot falling apart.
The story works best here when the main trio are together and trying to overcome some of their own mistakes. From a break-in gone awry to a scene where the three develop a drop-off plan for the kidnapped son, these actors each bring something unique to the table, which helps make the comedy soar even when the script falters. Nick is the straight man— a logical, conservative, businessman who knows that he’s partnered up with two fools. Kurt is the childish and goofy one who is willing to do anything to stay in business. Dale, meanwhile, is the most unforgettable member of the team— he seems like a decent guy but his intelligence leaves much to be desired.
Rex is a great addition to the story and Pine seems to cherish the opportunity to create an overzealous and malicious character whose antic energy overwhelms and confuses Nick, Kurt and Dale. Whereas Nick is passive, Rex is active and excited for his plan of vengeance and chaos to succeed. Kevin Spacey also returns, bringing with him the sly smile of a character who is surprisingly similar to Frank Underwood, the character Spacey plays on House of Cards (the two characters could easily be prison buddies). Jamie Foxx also comes back with a vengeance as the psychotic Dean Jones, the criminal who offers advice to the main characters. Aniston, the sexually-driven dentist, also returns but her character functions more as a one-note figure than the weird gang that she is surrounded by.
Horrible Bosses 2 is not one of the strongest comedies of the year but it succeeds more often than it fails and it offers a great opportunity to combine the comedic sensibilities of Day, Foxx and Pine whose performances really stand out. I wasn’t a fan of Horrible Bosses but this movie shows what a comedically-talented cast can do when given solid material.
Review by: John Hanlon