Horrible Bosses 2 kind of has the cards stacked against it. But, considering that, it is still quite the funny and entertaining picture.
Following up a comedy that surprises audiences and critics alike and becomes a blockbuster hit, as the 2011 smash hit Horrible Bosses did, is extremely difficult. The novelty of how much you liked this cast doing that thing is a tall mountain to climb and that’s why, most likely, there are so few comedy sequels that live up to or surpass the original. Horrible Bosses 2, for me, comes close.
The only thing that is missing is the surprise factor. Heading in to see the Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day film, we knew these three would have impeccable comic chemistry and that we would probably enjoy them reading a history book of ancient Egypt. But, that is clearly not what is teased in that Horrible Bosses 2 red band trailer that put audiences on notice that they were going to push the envelope.
Day, Bateman and Sudeikis are determined to put their working for jerks days behind them. They have come up with a product (called the Shower Buddy) that has enormous QVC orders written all over it. The only problem is they sell it to the wrong guys -- the father and son scheming team of Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine. Out a half a million dollars in production costs, what will the guys do?
Why not kidnap Pine and make Waltz pay the half million and they’re even Steven?
Only thing, Waltz does not care much for his son and that makes his little boy angry and suddenly the guys get drawn into a comedic plot that is much more dangerous than the first time around (yes, even with Horrible Bosses’ murder-our-superiors storyline).
See, that is what sequels (comedy or otherwise) have to do. They have to up the ante. And since most comedies cannot possibly find the funny at the levels of the first film, the plot itself needs to be much more heightened. And believe it or not, Horrible Bosses 2 does just that.
The big three are absolutely sublime together and that has not changed. The material they have to work with is slightly less funny, but more because the opportunity for situational comedy is less so with this second story. We’re not saying it doesn't have hysterical moments. Oh, it has many laugh-out-loud moments and a slew of quotes that will join those Horrible Bosses quotes in being recited for years to come.
Returning cast members Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey come back in smaller roles and each drives many of those situational comedy moments we were speaking of earlier. Yes, Spacey is still in jail, but as this Horrible Bosses 2 clip shows, no one can dress down our three leads quite like the Oscar winner.
Aniston, meanwhile, is kind of a sideshow… simply added because her sexually driven character could provide some crude laughs throughout. She’s game and Aniston delivers, but honestly her character did not necessarily need to return. Oh, and Foxx, well, let’s just say his character’s ultimate dream in life is a fantastic joke that pays off handsomely by the end of the film.
The gold star here goes to the new additions, Pine and Waltz. Pine steals every scene he is in and shows he has some serious comedic chops in addition to those dramatic ones we’ve seen prior. He’s manic. He’s lonely and sad. He’s just bat (expletive) crazy and that adds up to some fantastic moments in Horrible Bosses 2. And Waltz is his usual bad self.
Our Horrible Bosses 2 review reports that although the gang does not have the surprise factor of the first, it is still a fun ride and we honestly hope that Day, Sudeikis and Bateman find another excuse for a third set of Horrible Bosses.
Watch Horrible Bosses online and see how it all got started.