The first thing that you need to do right before seeing “Horrible Bosses 2” is turn off any and all expectations of a plot and/or story that resembles anything of substance. That should be plainly obvious as this is a sequel based on an original movie in which three grown men plotted to murder three people and faced exactly zero consequences when it all came out in the wash.
Thankfully, “Horrible Bosses” is a riot, mostly due to Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day, who all return for this sequel which is most originally titled “Horrible Bosses 2”. This sequel is almost as funny, way, way more lewd and obnoxious, but far less plausible than the original. That last statement is hard to believe as winged unicorns appearing on Earth may be more believable than the original movie’s plot.
Instead of conspiring to murder three human beings, Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudeikis), and Dale (Day) are scheming to get revenge on an evil, megalomaniacal Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz). Hanson owns a massive mail order company that resembles the stupidity of The Sharper Image and he and his son, Rex (Chris Pine), essentially steal an idea for a shower product from Nick, Kurt, and Dale, shutting down their tiny little company in the process.
Naturally, the three main morons seek advice from a few different sources. They go see Nick’s now-imprisoned-former-boss Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), who not only rejects their pleas for business help, insults them all in hilariously vulgar and random fashion.
Next up is Dean “MFer” Jones (Jamie Foxx). After some very unique and wheels off negotiating, MFer Jones tells the gang that they should kidnap Rex and ransom him off to Bert, thus collecting the money they need to save their business.
Up until this point, “Horrible Bosses 2” successfully walks a tightrope, never falling into “fully stupid” territory and staying aloft in the “comedic movie stupid” world. Then, the story force feeds Jennifer Aniston’s sex-obsessed dentist Julia into the mix and the movie mostly falls to pieces.
Luckily, the actors make “Horrible Bosses 2” watchable. There are plenty of hilarious sequences in the movie, most notably every single second in which Rex bonds and perpetrates his own kidnapping with Nick, Kurt, and Dale.
There are also some gags that could make people squirm and cringe, most of them shockingly coming from Aniston. It seems as if director Sean Anders (who co-wrote the script with John Morris) just fired lines out to the actress, trying to see what she would and wouldn’t say. If there was some filthy, objectionable dialogue that Aniston refused, it would be terrifying to read or hear. She runs the gambit from jokes about 14-year old boys at camp to female grooming tactics and only the least sensitive few will be able to stomach it.
Foxx and Spacey (two Oscar winners by the way) seem to be having way too much fun with these ridiculous characters, cursing and ranting with total glee. Spacey makes the most biting, cruel insults funny and when Foxx breaks out the “white guys with a problem” voice, it’s impossible not to laugh.
Chris Pine needs to do more comedy. His sociopathic turn as Rex almost steals the movie from the main fellas. Pine manages to be obnoxious without being annoying, which would make a movie like this completely unwatchable.
The main reason that “Horrible Bosses 2” succeeds at all is due to Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day. When the story is shredded or there is a lull, director Anders seems to simply plop the camera down in front of these three actors and says, “Okay…have at it”. There are several scenes that seem to have ended, but the camera keeps rolling and these three actors keep talking, arguing, or shouting at each other with mostly hilarious results.
Bateman sticks to being the brains of the group, even though he gets to let loose and be more than your basic deadpan straight man again. Sudeikis remains sex obsessed, which interferes with the gang’s plans and causes non-stop problems. The banter between these two actors, especially a brief game of F-M-K, makes the unbearably stupid premise bearable.
Then there is Charlie Day. There is a good chance that he stole the first movie and the only thing wrong with his character in this sequel is that it seems like they may be forcing that idea on an audience. When Day’s Dale gets worked up and screeches his hair-brained ideas or gets angry over being forced into situations, “Horrible Bosses 2” really excels.
Look, there is no denying this movie is dumb. The plot is ridiculous and there is no alternative reality where any of the things that happen are plausible. “Horrible Bosses 2” is nothing more than a showcase of three fairly brilliant comedic actors and because of their perfect timing and chemistry, the stupidity is forgivable because the laughs are worth it.
So if you want to laugh for two hours without being annoyed, “Horrible Bosses 2” is an excellent outlet for that. But if you are a bit sensitive to jokes about some seriously inappropriate topics, stay away.
Horrible Bosses 2 arrives onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on February 24th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment