In 2011, director Seth Gordon brought us the comedy Horrible Bosses. It was a sort of dark comedy that had it’s share of raciness sprinkled throughout the script. The two great things going for the film were the nicely mixed talent of a cast and a multifaceted story line that blended together fairly well. Horrible Bosses was by no means a comedy classic, but in the realm of quality we get from comedies these days, I thought it was in the front running for that year. As I imagine many others did, I cringed at the news of a sequel. I am pretty shell-shocked from the two increasingly painful sequels we received for The Hangover so expectations were more than low on my end.
This time around, the director is Sean Anders. Anders is also known for his work on We’re the Millers and Sex Drive. With movies like that under his belt, you don’t have to wonder if we are being treated to a raunchy sequel. The same cast is back with a couple new additions. Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz are added as a father and son team who really aren’t much of a team at all. I was really hoping to get the menacing and haunting Waltz we’ve become accustomed to seeing, unfortunately it felt like watching a great actor who was going through the motions only because he was paid to do so. Chris Pine actually impressed me being that he actually gave an awesome performance. His performance may have helped elevate the overall antagonist showing which was left lackluster by his counterpart.
Jennifer Anniston and Kevin Spacey appear briefly this time, but not as bosses. Spacey is in prison and shows up a couple of times solely for the purpose of giving advice. His scenes were probably the least comical periods of the film in my opinion, as he just doesn’t appeal to me as a comedic presence. Anniston gets a little more screen time and rightfully so. Her performance as a promiscuous dentist is almost required to even match the edgy feel of the first film. As funny as her scenes were, I felt the writing went a little overboard in a couple of instances and took her high points from hilarious to just flat-out uncomfortable.
Charlie Day, Jason Bateman, and Jason Sudeikis are still a team and still making the most hilarious yet stupid mistakes. Whether they work as a comedic trio or not really just depends on your individual taste in comedy. I feel they are without a doubt one of the best assembles in any comedic effort. I’m a huge fan of the television series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and watching these three work together is equal to seeing that show on the big screen. It’s a positive thing that the three were able to carry this movie and keep the laughs reasonably frequent. It’s not so positive that the script needed them to do so.
The writing is fairly simple in Horrible Bosses 2, yet it somehow manages to be more complicated than I think anyone would expect. Possibly predictable for some viewers, there are some twists thrown in that make the viewing experience more enjoyable than it probably should be. The title is definitely misleading in this case since there are not actually any issues with bosses. Waltz plays the owner of a lucrative corporation that has taken an interest in an invention of the main trio. As expected, things go awry and the guys cook up a crazy revenge plot. Pine keeps things interesting and saves this from being a dry replay of the first movie.
As you can probably tell, I’m sort of conflicted on what I thought of Horrible Bosses 2. You basically get what you expect so there really isn’t anything more to discuss about it other than what I’ve already mentioned. If you are a fan of it’s predecessor, you most likely won’t be disappointed. This comedy sequel is good for a reasonable amount of good laughs, but definitely not something you have to rush out and see. My final take is that Horrible Bosses 2 is Redbox gold.