Horrible Bosses 2, 2014.
Directed by Sean Anders.
Starring Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey.
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.
I will say up front that Horrible Bosses 2 is a strong contender for the best straight up comedy of 2014 (not counting movies like Birdman that also contain dramatic overtones) for one simple reason that many sequels can never get right; the ability to create something fresh while also remembering what brought them to the dance in the first place. In this case, Horrible Bosses 2 decides to shake-up the formula by having our three lovable morons attempt to go into business for themselves and become their own bosses. Not so surprisingly, they aren’t very good at it, but it isn’t because they are complete dicks like the ones they tried to murder in the original film; as Kevin Spacey would put it, they’re just incompetent idiots.
That’s why Horrible Bosses 2 sees Nick, Kurt, and Dale (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day respectively) making some terrible decisions, losing their newly founded business along with a hefty sum of money. Naturally, their course of action is to revert to the criminalistics ways of which they have absolutely no instinct or skill towards executing. The plan this time is to kidnap the son (Chris Pine) of the man that ripped them off (Christoph Waltz).
That about covers the extent of Horrible Bosses attempting to keep itself refreshing, but fortunately for new director Sean Anders it is just enough to make the nonstop hilarity that ensues justifiable. Horrible Bosses 2 is a seriously crude, lewd, and vulgar film – one of the highlights of the film involves our protagonists discussing the various ways they should gang-fuck Jennifer Aniston’s relentlessly sex-craved character – but fans of the original wouldn’t want it any other way. What made the original successful both critically and commercially is the absolute absurdity of its over-the-top characters, while also being able to find a middle ground that paints the protagonists not so much as psychopaths, but endearingly twisted imbeciles with good intentions.
And that’s what is at play here; a revenge scheme for getting screwed out of losing their company and personal American dreams of working for themselves. Obviously, the plan goes to complete hell becoming increasingly more dangerous with each scene, but most importantly funnier by the minute. Horrible Bosses 2 is that special rare kind of comedy that is able to both understand what people want to see, and how to at least match the original in terms of quality; something far more profitable franchises like The Hangover failed at.
The chaotic camaraderie between the three leads returns, as their energetic fighting amongst each other is still wildly entertaining, but newcomer to the franchise Chris Pine steps up to the plate and hits a homerun with the fairly large shoes he had to fill; after all, like a good superhero movie, another thing that made Horrible Bosses so special was that the villainous bosses were as memorable and identifiable as the heroes. Seriously, Chris Pine is a freaking lunatic with severe daddy issues in this movie, and comes awfully close to stealing the show.
Everyone else thrives in their role too; Charlie Day is still a riot as the dumbest of the group, constantly speaking without thinking and blurting out nonsense that makes you shake your head in disbelief as you hold your stomach laughing, Jason Sudeikis walks a fine line between stupid and smart, while Jason Bateman is still the smartest of the three and continues to nail portraying sarcastic douche characters. Also returning are the aforementioned characters of Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey, and Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx) as their criminal advisor who is also pretty stupid.
Furthermore, Horrible Bosses 2 also deserves some applause for successfully being able to integrate all of these reoccurring characters into the sequel, but without making them come across as glorified cameos. Admittedly, they don’t have much screen-time, but everyone has a clear direction by the end of the film.
There are a couple problems along the way with Horrible Bosses 2 though; namely that the movie is fairly predictable. It’s not so much the jokes and comedy, but certain character motives that anyone who has ever watched a revenge movie will probably catch on to. It also may strangely suffer from having too much talent or being too short of a film – although the movie isn’t necessarily short at 108 minutes – because no one character truly has a stand-out moment. There are some characters you simply want to see more of, and hopefully we will on an extended cut of the Blu-ray. Nevertheless, the fact that everyone is hilarious and firing on all cylinders is still a good thing.
It sounds weird to say for a comedy sequel, but I honestly would like to see Horrible Bosses become a trilogy. The ending to the film certainly lends itself the opportunity, but most importantly this movie was satisfying enough to warrant production of a third entry. What can I say, the chaotic camaraderie between the three leads is so infectiously fun, I could watch them stumble through attempted crime all day.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. He currently writes for Flickering Myth, We Got This Covered, and Wrestle Enigma. Follow me on Twitter.
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