Like a cheap TV dinner this lukewarm comedy looks good from the outside but leaves you feeling disappointed and pining for the real thing.
This time around Dale (Charlie Day), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Nick (Jason Bateman) are on the other side of the desk. Instead of suffering at the hands of horrible bosses as they did the first time around the hapless trio decide to start their own business. But things don’t go as planned when their ruthless investor Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) screws them over.
Rather predictably they decide to pay their old friend ‘Motherfucker Jones’ (Jamie Foxx) a visit for some revenge advice. I mean come on! That didn’t exactly go well last time did it? Together they come up with a hare-brained and misguided kidnapping scheme. When that doesn’t quite go to plan then it’s time for them to show off their expertise; running around like idiots and juvenile tomfoolery.
Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx who starred in the first movie are wheeled back in for one-note cameos. You can literally see the dollar signs in Spacey’s eyes.
New in the game are Christoph Waltz playing a scumbag in a surprisingly low-key way (compared to Spacey) and Chris Pine who plays his equally scummy son, with an air of frantic over-emphasis. Waltz looks desperate to be out of there, meanwhile Pine just looks desperate.
The theme may have slightly shifted but the main characters have remained the same; Dale is downtrodden and stupid, Kurt is sleazy and stupid, and Nick is smarter than the other two, but still stupid enough to go along with their plans.
The movie has a few comic moments – there are enough gags, one-liners and set-ups for a trailer but nowhere enough for an entire movie. There’s a lot of waffle and gruelling screeching from Day to endure whilst you’re waiting for a laugh.
Horrible Bosses 2 is very much a diluted version of its predecessor. It’s not really funny; instead it’s full of misguided male bonding and comedic blunders. If their apathetic attempts at comedy constitutes as male bonding I’m glad that I don’t have the necessary equipment to take part.
There’s a self-referential gag in the credit roll, involving a character performing a gross-out act with a toothbrush, as featured in Horrible Bosses, and the line “She must have seen the first movie”. I think most people did, but I doubt as many will see its lame comedy sequel.
As the credits roll the outtakes attest that the cast found making this atrocious comedy hilarious. Good for them. I’m glad someone got some enjoyment from this tiresome flop.
By Ruth Walker