Many will want to trash Horrible Bosses 2 simply because the studio decided to bank on a sequel. The first film raked up a total of $209.6 million worldwide and included the funny and interestingly paired Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day. And in a year of disappointing comedies, (22 Jump Street being the exception), Horrible Bosses 2 comes back with the same humor that made people love the original, but still dares to not follow the same exact formula like The Hangover sequels, which keeps the film fresh.

 

After deciding that their bosses pretty much sucked and that they’d had enough, Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudeikis), and Dale (Day) got together and came up with the not-so-brilliant-plan to kill their bosses. We all know how that story turns out. Now the only way to not have a boss is to become your own boss, which is exactly what the trio does. They come up with an invention called “the shower buddy” that they think is brilliant and believe entrepreneurs everywhere will want a slice of the money maker. They’re disappointed when no one, save for billionaire business man Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) offers them a deal: take out a loan to manufacture a few hundred thousand units of shower buddies, and Hanson will be responsible for the distribution, offering them the larger percentage of the profits.

Obviously things don’t turn out all hunky dory, otherwise there would be no film and I wouldn’t have written this review. You know how this goes. The trio gets played by Hanson, who cancels the deal and leaves them in debt. Now since they’re all terrible criminals and the murder business didn’t work out for them very well, they go to their criminal advice buddy Dean “Motherfucker” Jones (Jamie Foxx) for ideas on what to do. This time, instead of murder, they plan to kidnap Bert’s spoiled brat of a son Rex (Chris Pine) to get back on Bert. Do I really have to tell you that it doesn’t exactly go the way they planned?

The main players are back for the sequel and two of the original bosses, Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston, make great appearances as well (Colin Ferrell unfortunately can’t come back, since his character was killed off by Spacey in the original). Spacey’s appearance is more of a cameo, but a funny one, especially since it takes place in jail. Aniston’s part is a bit larger and the way they actually incorporate her into the script is clever since they play off of her sex addiction from the prior movie and use it to their advantage here. Aniston truly needs to play more of the dominating feral woman roles because she’s so good at it.

There’s definitely a lot of chemistry between the three comedic leads and Pine. They have a buddy-buddy relationship and at the same time it’s completely bipolar. It’s safe to say that Pine almost steals the show in a role you’ve never seen him play before. He’s insane in his portrayal of Rex, which is scary and entertaining all at the same time and he’s got great comedic timing, playing the spoiled rich boy with daddy issues very well. Bateman, Sudeikis, and Day are also able to maintain the humor throughout, even though some of their funny moments get dragged on a little too long to stay completely humorous every time, but for the most part they sell the roles of stupid kidnappers pretty well, their level of stupid naivety seeming to rise after every scene.

One of the not-so-great things worth noting is the fact that Christoph Waltz, whom we all know from his past roles (Inglourious Basterds, Water for Elephants) to be fantastic at playing fun bad guys, doesn’t appear as much as he should have. Such a wonderful actor and he only gets a few scenes that are not exactly scene stealing in any way is a bit disappointing and brings about my main grudge against the film.

Horrible Bosses 2 is a “what you see is what you get” kind of film. For some, it’ll be forgettable, for others, it won’t live up to expectations, but perhaps most will find that it is almost, if not just as funny, as the original. And unlike other comedy sequels, it doesn’t just regurgitate the same old plot (there are no new bosses for them to kill), but is able to keep it fresh with fun new characters and uses the old bosses in a new way. One thing is certainly clear: If they make this franchise into a trilogy, it might be fun to have the staff the trio hired in this film to get mad enough at their behavior to off them the way they tried to do to their bosses before. Aside from thoughts of another sequel, this one ought to quench your comedic taste buds just in time for the holidays.

Release Date: November 26, 2014 | Director: Sean Anders | Screenwriters: Sean Anders, John Morris | Cast: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Chris Pine, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Kevin Spacey | Genre: Comedy | MPAA Rating: R for strong crude sexual content and language throughout

 

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About Author

Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

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