Film Review: Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses 2 -- Poster

Horrible Bosses 2 Plot Summary:

After quitting their old jobs, Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) go into business for themselves.  When a business tycoon (Christoph Waltz) takes advantage of their invention and new company, the three contemplate kidnapping the tycoon’s son (Chris Pine) for a ransom.

The first Horrible Bosses was a solid comedy, and like with most comedies, it didn’t demand a sequel at all.  While Horrible Bosses 2 isn’t anything great to hold up high, at least it succeeds more so than a Hangover Part II.  I got a lot of chuckles, but this wears thin pretty fast.  The film’s biggest strength is also its biggest weakness, and that’s the chemistry of the three main actors.

Horrible Bosses 2 -- image 3

Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day are great together. They bounce off each other like clockwork, and you can tell a lot of this material was probably improv, but rarely does it miss the mark. I also appreciated that all three characters had distinct personalities, because they could have easily been interchangeable. You got the cautious leader in Bateman, the wisecracking sex hound with Sudeikis, and Day is of course the lovable idiot, who the film plays up the most.

I laughed a lot in the first twenty minutes as these guys bantered through out every scene.  The dialogue was very snappy, but there comes a point where it becomes too much.  In every single scene they always have to argue and draw out jokes as long as possible, and this is where the film really drags.  The middle forty-five minutes is kind of rough.  It’s almost like you have three Tony Starks running at the mouth, and there’s only so many quips and debates about cute criminal code names I can take.  There were moments I wanted to stand up and shout “Move the damn plot along, for crying out loud!”  Fortunately the film comes back around in the last act, and it does have a lot of good supporting characters, both returning and new additions.

Jennifer Aniston returns as Julia, the sex crazed maniac who’s obsessed with sleeping with Charlie Day’s character.  She’s in sex addiction classes, but you find out pretty quickly it’s not really working.  Aniston makes dirty jokes look so easy, but also really damn funny.  Much like in the first film, you can tell she loves playing this persona.  Kevin Spacey is brief, but makes his presence known.  It’s not just a throw away cameo.  And of course we can’t forget about Jamie Foxx back as “MF” Jones.  What astounds me about Foxx is that I think he’s barely trying here, yet he still comes off as hilarious.  I was glad to see him back.

Horrible Bosses 2 Pine

Then we got the newcomers, Christoph Waltz as Bert Hanson, the powerful business man who screws the trio over.  Waltz is given very little, but he’s Christoph Waltz.  He’s having a blast venturing into comedy.  Chris Pine plays Waltz’s son who the trio kidnap, and he’s also funny as shit.  I’ve always been a huge Chris Pine fan, and it was just funny to see Captain Kirk play such a dirty scumbag.  The script lets him down, because they could have done a lot more with this character, but Pine definitely came to play.  Jonathan Banks also pops up in a nice little role, and it’s always nice to see him.

I never broke down laughing, but all the performances provided good chuckles for most of the film.  And while nothing completely bombed, everything is so dialogue heavy that the banter just becomes over whelming.  I completely lost interest in the second act and was ready for it to end.  Horrible Bosses 2 is a decent effort for a comedy sequel, but nothing special.  Please don’t do a Horrible Bosses 3.  I’ve reached the limits on these characters.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (Slightly Better Than ‘Meh’)

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Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.
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Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.