Review

Horrible-BossesThe problem with sequels and more specifically comedy sequels, is that the filmmakers usually rehash exactly what worked in the original.  Whether it’s plot points or exact quotes, sequels usually just follow the same rout as the original.  Look no further than The Hangover 2, Dumb and Dumber To, etc.  In the case of this summers 22 Jump Street, they made light of this fact in a meta way, but that will only take you so far, and has since been emulated.  It’s difficult to find a balance between acknowledging what worked in the original and introducing a new story that doesn’t just feel like a re-hash.  Horrible Bosses 2 evades this comedic trap and successfully revisits things that worked in the original, while simultaneously creating it’s own distinct feel.

I’m going to keep the plot description to a minimum to keep the movie as funny and fresh as possible.  If you watch tv, I’m sure you’ve been bombarded by ads that spoil some genuinely funny moments.  The less you know, the better the movie will be.  All I will say is Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day), and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and some familiar faces reunite for more ridicules antics.  That’s all you need to know.

horrible-bosses-2-movie-photo-5Sean Anders (Sex Drive, That’s My Boy) replaces Seth Gordon as director of the sequel and while Anders’ prior filmography may scare some people, he does an excellent job filling in for Gordon.  Horrible Bosses 2 doesn’t miss a beat from the original, and carries on the story of these three lovable yet misguided protagonists.  The sequel adds to the original, while respecting what made the first so successful.  The jokes never go too over-the-top, albeit the plot is yet again fairly ridiculous.

Horrible Bosses 2 is littered with an all-star cast that make for some great moments throughout, but the highlight is the chemistry between the three lead actors.  They play off each other amazingly with each comfortable in their characters.  Bateman is brilliant as always playing the straight man, Sudeikis compliments this with his quippy womanizing antics, and bringing it all together is Charlie Day who plays the lovable idiot to perfection.  Day’s character is rewarded with some of the biggest laughs of the movie, playing a character similar to his Charlie character on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  Overall, these three are great riffing together and getting some great add-libbed moments that undoubtedly made their way into the final cut.

Despite its ability to not feel recycled, it inevitably feels familiar.  It does strike a good balance yet it’s unable to feel genuinely fresh.  Along with this critique, some characters were misused, especially Christoph Waltz’s Burt Hanson.  He’s the head honcho “bad guy”, yet you never hate him like you did with the original bosses in the original.  These kept the film from being “great”, but at the end of the day, Horrible Bosses 2 is an extremely funny sequel worthy of acknowledgement.  It’s not perfect, but the laughs are consistent throughout.  Isn’t that what you truly want when you see a comedy anyway?

HORRIBLE BOSSESIn this modern age of Hollywood “good” comedies are few-and-far between.  Horrible Bosses 2 is funny throughout, although it’s not that classic comedy our generation has been dying for.  I guess it’s about as good as a comedy sequel could be, as the challenge of creating something new is getting harder and harder.  Nothing’s original and everything’s already been done.  Having said that, Horrible Bosses 2 is an extremely worthy sequel, and having fairly low expectations will only help your enjoyment in the end.  There isn’t 20 years in-between movies like the latest Jim Carrey outing, so creatively, everyone seems to be on the same page.

Horrible Bosses 2 stars Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz, Kevin Spacey, Keegan-Michael KeyJonathan Banks, and can be seen in theaters nationwide November 26th.



About the Author

Peter Towe
Peter Towe
A graduate of UMASS Boston, I have successfully put off getting a "real" job, and continue to watch, produce, review, and obsess over movies. I lived in Boston while I completed my degree, and now live in Chicago trying the improv thing.