Horrible Bosses – Movie Review
Horrible Bosses 2 – R
Release Date: Wed 26 Nov 2014
Horrible Bosses 2 falls into the category of a sequel that never needed to be made. The original film wasn’t particularly beloved enough to warrant becoming a franchise, and while it did have its moments the second one simply goes back for seconds on everything that came before. What does work in both films is the strong cast – Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis return as the leads and Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston’s characters also appear in the sequel. The new characters played by Chris Pine and a completely squandered Christoph Walz (really – no scene between him and Foxx?) are simply not what we’re looking for.
The real problem is the writing, which is not great to begin with but made worse by dragging every scene out with improv. I lost count of how many scenes included the three leads talking at once until some yells “shut up” and delivers the next written part of the dialogue. Where the first movie gave us individual scenes of the main three to get to know their characters and situations, the sequel almost always has them onscreen together in pairs or all at once. This leaves every character feeling the same, particularly Day and Sudeikis who spend most of the movie talking over each other until Bateman or some other character tells them to shut up. They should be annoying to the antagonists, not the audience.
People who enjoyed Jennifer Aniston’s character for being brazenly against type will likely be disappointed here as this isn’t really pushed to anything new or different. She at least shows up a few times more than Spacey who has 2-3 scenes, all shot in the same location and likely on the same day. It’s great that they got these characters (plus Foxx) to reprise their roles, but they really needed to justify their existence better than appeasing the audience.
I expect the movie’s point was that the three main guys turned out to be “horrible bosses” themselves, but in a different meaning of the word. Instead of horrible meaning mean and unreasonable, they are horrible in that they are inept. Everyone seems to be trying, but like the characters they don’t seem to know how to make this work. It’s even more forgettable than the first, and that’s a shame.
John M. and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion afterward in the car: