Charlie Day, Jason Bateman and Andy Sudeikis are back in the sequel to 2011’s ‘Horrible Bosses’; a movie I haven’t seen, but one I’d heard reasonably good things about.
From what I can gather, the first film consisted of the three leads teaming up to off their ‘horrible bosses’. An endeavour that left *spoilers* Kevin Spacey in prison, (the downright creepy) Jennifer Aniston visiting a sex addiction help group, Colin Farrell dead and the three guys with a brilliant new showering product.
This time round, Christoph Waltz’s Bert Hanson is their target after he drops out of a deal over the ‘Shower Buddy’. The gang (‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ reference #1) are forced to seek revenge and they plan to kidnap Hanson’s obnoxious son, Rex (Chris Pine, who seems slightly too comfortable playing a slimy little jerk).
And that’s the movie, essentially. Obviously, things don’t go quite as planned and there are a number of predictable cock-ups along the way, resulting in a drab car chase finale (another example of an otherwise broad comedy aiming for action comedy, and failing).
But, it’s not all bad. The cast are undeniably strong and they manage to draw some laughs out of the lacklustre script, but none of them really hit top gear. In fact, Spacey’s slight cameo brings a whole new meaning to phoning it in. The real gem here, though, is Day who’s the go-to-guy for charming buffoon-ary. But, his role never really extends beyond his It’s Always Sunny character. Just, this time round, the writing’s not as sharp, the comedy’s not as dark and the production values are offputtingly glossy.
Like that show, the writers go for an interruptive approach to the comedy that sees the three guys spending half the movie talking over each other and bickering about this that and the other. It’s fine, but it’s not Sunny.
‘Horrible Bosses 2’ is a by-the-numbers American studio comedy with a great cast and some undeniably funny scenes, but little else. Passable, but uninspiring.
*A big thank you to the Film Distributors’ Association (FDA) for hosting the screening*