Director: Sean Anders
Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudelkis, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey
Written by: (also story) Sean Anders, John Morris, (story) Jonathan M. Goldstein, John Francis Daley and (based on the characters created) Michael Markowitz.
Running Time: 108 mins
Release date: 28th November 2014
The 2011 comedy Horrible Bosses was, in fairness, not bad. What worked in that film was the cameo performances of Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston as the bosses. They all bought a touch of magic to a film that would have otherwise been routine, not helped by the annoying banter from the three leads who are being terrorised by the three stars. Now we have Horrible Bosses 2 and everything that worked for the first film has been drained away for the second as we spend more time with the annoying characters and less with the cameos. This time, it lives up to its title…it’s horrible.
Nick, Kurt and Dale have decided they’ve had enough of bosses and are going to branch out alone after inventing the Shower Buddy. After an appearance on breakfast television, the guys are invited to a leading catalogue company run by Bert Hanson and his son, Rex. A deal is struck and everything is rosy, until Bert pulls out, leaving the friends in debt and nowhere to go. They decide to go back to their old ways and kidnap Rex. Rex has other ideas that could help them, or is he in it for his own gains?
As with most sequels to hit comedies, most of the best jokes are in the original and so the only way to solve this is to repeat the things that were funny first time round. Only this time they just seem infantile and grimy. Having three established stars playing against type was very funny, especially Jennifer Aniston who was as far removed from Rachel in Friends as is humanly possible, with her playing a sex addict dentist. This time round, the same character just comes across as depraved and Aniston looks embarrassed.
So we have to spend most of the film watching Jason Bateman, Jason Sudelkis and Charlie Day as Nick, Kurt and Dale, bantering. When I say bantering, I mean talking over each other with Day’s high-pitched squealing drowning out everyone else and so if there is a hint of humour in what they are saying, you cannot hear a word of it. Oh how funny it isn’t!
The new additions to the cast, Christoph Waltz as the new Horrible Boss, looks like he wants to get out of there as quickly as possible while Chris Pine as his son Rex, just goes all out over-the-top, as if by shouting your lines and mugging is meant to be comedic. Only Jamie Foxx as MF Jones, the con who helps the boys and a brief appearance by Spacey, manage to give the film any form of gravitas.
The jokes are laden and feeble while the performances are just loud and infuriating. The team behind this seem to be having a whale of a time, as the pointless and even less funny outtakes prove. They just forgot one important element…the audience. If they don’t laugh, it’s not a great comedy. Trust me, I didn’t laugh once and neither did the audience I saw it with (apart from one man but he found the Kevin Bacon EE advert funny, so we won’t include him!).
Horrible Bosses 2 can be put up there with the greats of awful comedy sequels, Caddyshack 2, The Hangover 2 & 3 and, of course, anything with Nativity in the title. Simply horrible.