Possible spoilers ahead!
Duck and cover kids! The awful comedy sequel curse has struck again with “Horrible Bosses 2.” The curse proves once and for all that telling the same jokes again, isn’t as funny as hearing them for the first time. And the curse also proves that despite the cast’s best efforts, no actor can overcome a poorly written script.
When “Horrible Bosses” hit theatres a few years ago, the film was succesful in part because the audience was able to relate with three average guys forced into extreme behavior by their sociopathic bosses. Sure some of the situations were way over the top, but we could still relate with Kurt, Nick, and Dale. After all, who hasn’t had a boss they hated?
Well that simple but succesful formula has been replaced in Bosses 2 by pure slapstick, not the good kind, but mainly the “gross-out humor” variety. Sean Anders & John Morris directed and wrote the sequel, and I think the double duty hurt the movie in many ways.
The story in Bosses 2 is weaker and not as intriguing as in the first movie. Anders and Morris literally repeat many of the same set-ups and punch lines from the first Bosses, only with a cruder results and with more discussion of bodily fluids.
In “Horrible Bosses 2” Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day), have started their own business. After a TV appearance goes horribly wrong, the three stooges run into trouble getting the financing for their ‘‘The Shower Buddy’’ product. That’s when they turn to investor Rex Hanson (Chris Pine) and his father Bert (a wasted Christoph Waltz), who agree to finance the idiots dream.
We quickly discover, it’s all a scam, and the Hanson’s plan to bankrupt and takeover the “shower buddy” business. With no other options and time running out, Nick & Kurt & Dale plot to kidnap Rex Hanson and hold him for ransom.
This leads to several misunderstandings, violent escapades, and plot twists that allow for the over-sexed dentist Julia (Jennifer Aniston), double-talking “Motherfucker” Jones (Jamie Foxx), and even convicted Dave (Kevin Spacey) to return for the fun. Quite frankly I would have prefered a movie about those three characters.
As I said earlier, the cast tries their best with the script, but it just doesn’t work. Out of the three leads, Jason Bateman does most of the heavy lifting. Jason Sudeikis didn’t do much in the movie, unless hitting on hot women counts. And Charlie Day? I have no idea why he was there.
The antics of the three lead characters are maddening. The characters we liked so much in the first movie go from being funny and relatable to cartoonishly dumb or downright aggravating, especially in Charlie Day’s case.
In the first movie I rooted for the three underdogs, in the sequel Sean Anders & John Morris somehow managed to make me root against these idiots. And I say idiots because that’s what this script turns them into. And they’re not even lovable idiots at that.
The best written character in the movie is Jennifer Aniston’s Julia. But sadly there just isn’t enough of her in the movie. And as someone who has never liked Jennifer Aniston, that’s high praise from me.
The real problem with “Horrible Bosses 2” isn’t the acting but the script. Instead of going for non stop punchilnes and shock value, the screenwriters should have focused on making sure they had a clear and simple story to begin with. Then go for the laughs.
“Horrible Bosses 2” final score 5