Horrible Bosses 2 (2014) – Review

Directed by Sean Anders
Written by Sean Anders, John Morris, John Francis Daley, Johnathan M Goldstein
Starring Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day
Dale, Kurt and Nick decide to start their own business but things don’t go as planned because of a slick investor, prompting the trio to pull off a harebrained and misguided kidnapping scheme.

For a moment, prior to watching this sequel, you may been forgiven for thinking that this was the only real candidate to steal the crown of the best comedy of 2014 from 22 Jump Street. I mean, it had the right pedigree and heralded admirable roots. The all-star cast were all back and seemingly up for it a second time. A positive throng of comedy writing talent had been assembled. What could go wrong?
Well, if we’re honest, not alot did go wrong, but that in itself is not a ringing endorsement. No, this isn’t as funny as the original, nor is it as witty or barbed and cutting. More bawdy, possibly, and it comes close to the bone more often than the original. Even Aniston herself, when interviewed, was surprised at the candour of the writing and alarmed (in a good-natured way) at the frankness of the script.

Terms such as ‘teeth-grindingly embarrassing’ have been bandied around since it arrived and from a certain point of view, I can agree, but let’s not forget what we were promised and question whether that was actually delivered. You knew what this was like before you saw it, if you’d seen the original, so if you’ve left the theatre wondering jut what the bloody hell that was, then why did you bother turning up in the first place? As I left my local cineplex last night, the general feeling seemed one of general bemusement, as I heard one young woman utter for example, “I can’t believe they actually got paid for that.”

And given the assembled cast, which is nothing if not impressive, you might be right to expect more than what we ended up with, but the critical response is that whilst it does have its share of funny moments, it probably isn’t anywhere near funny enough for the wealth of riches it enjoys both artistically and creatively. If, like me, you only really went to see Jennifer Aniston talk dirty, then you will be well served, but you can’t help but wonder if this isn’t beneath her (and others). Base comedy is one thing and it has been done much better in recent years, not least with the original from which this spawned and others even more worthy than that.

After the events of the first film, the boys decide to start their own company with their product, The Shower Buddy, and no longer be at the behest of their previously terrible employers. This doesn’t stop them from showing up (for the most part) however, and without them, it may have not been worth watching at all, as with one thing and another, the boys end up having to arrange a kidnapping that starts as farcical and ends up as just plain ridiculous.

The general feeling is that this is getting away from everyone and as a story, it is a bit of a mess and ends up as something of a farce, a la Sex Tape. Awash with talent that is mostly under-performing, but doing just enough to warrant the paycheck. The funniest part of the whole movie was the gag reel in the closing credits that proves that the cast all really had a good time making the film, even if they didn’t appear to be taking their work ethic that seriously.

On the whole, you get pretty much what you expect from Horrible Bosses 2, which in itself is not a lofty goal to attain. You might get a bit of a giggle and even squirm uncomfortably in your seat on occasion due to the very frank attempts at lewdness, but depending on your point of view, it may just come across as cheap laughs from a cast that aren’t really trying that hard. As I have already mentioned, it could have been much worse. If we get another one, it may just be bordering on Scary Movie territory, so it might be an idea to stop right now.

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