A solid second ride thanks to great chemistry
From the co-writers of Dumb and Dumber To, the disappointing comedy sequel, comes Horrible Bosses 2, the slightly-less disappointing and still quite funny comedy sequel. Yes, we know that comedy sequels rarely work since the humor isn’t as fresh and the jokes are often forced. Horrible Bosses 2 is definitely not as funny as the original 2011 hit which took the dark fantasies of all white collar workers and spun them into a hilarious story of three down-and-out losers trying to kill their horrible bosses. But, HB2 still has plenty of great moments, primarily due to the chemistry between the three leads, and will likely entertain any fan of the first film (like myself) and coerce a few belly laughs from newcomers. But there’s no denying that considering the incredible cast of the new film, the film could’ve reached even greater comedic heights.
Without spoiling too many plot details, and not because the plot of HB2 is surprising or ingenious, but because comedies rely so greatly on timing and flow, I’ll just say that Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) have joined forces in a business venture which quickly hits a major financial snag, which is as much a fault of their dimwittedness as it is the fault of a familiar big fish vs. little fish scenario, compliments of rich man Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) and rich son Rex Hanson (Chris Pine). Credit should be given to the writers for grounding HB2 in a good small business underdog story to kick things off. This way the movie doesn’t feel like it’s completely losing touch with the whole point of the franchise. That being said, things spiral into a ridiculous caper film, mostly held together by the crazy antics of the three amigos.
Note: If you found the threesome of Day, Sudeikis, and Bateman annoying in the first film, you will despise the sequel. They are louder, and talk over each other even more than before. And, it’s hysterical. Bateman shines the most as the straight-faced voice of “logic” — if there is such a concept within the bunch — and gets to flaunt his comedic wings a bit more than usual. Charlie Day may be a modern attention-deficient version of Robert “Bobcat” Goldthwait, his voice hitting high pitches as he screeches and shouts and blurts out anything that comes to mind. And Sudeikis, his horndog nature slightly toned down here, still manages to throw out the most obnoxious insults and innuendo available. It’s the three together, riffing off each other yet still stubbornly loyal to each other’s friendships, that sells the comedy. Bless those morons.
Oh, and Chris Pine is well up to the task of handling a prominent comedic role. He manages to steal a few of the scenes he’s in. Waltz, well, nails the scenes he’s in but the script could’ve called for more. Kevin Spacey is back and snarls like only Kevin Spacey can. And Jennifer Aniston is back and having fun playing the amoral nymphomaniac boss of Dale. Dare I say I wish there were more of each? … HB3?
Horrible Bosses 2 opens today in theaters.