Horrible Bosses 2
Limp sequel teaming Bateman and co with newbies Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz
Like its title, this sequel to Seth Gordon’s 2011 comedy lacks imagination. The first 30 minutes or so are particularly uninspiring as we catch up with Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), the trio of white-collar dudes who plotted to murder their bosses in the original film. We begin with the guys on daytime TV, trying to strike out on their own by promoting their new invention: a shampoo/conditioner dispenser.
During the demonstration, Dale’s silhouette suggests he’s giving a blow-job to Kurt – a gag ripped right off Austin Powers. And that’s one of the funnier moments in a first act that feels more like a wake than a Hollywood comedy, as Bateman et al set out to get revenge on Christoph Waltz’s catalogue tycoon, after he cons them over their ‘Shower Buddy’ gadget.
Plotting to kidnap his unctuous son (Chris Pine, on good form), this hapless threesome wind up encountering several familiar faces from the first film – including Nick’s vile former boss who's now behind bars (Kevin Spacey, relishing his return), Dale’s sex addict ex-employer (Jennifer Aniston, likewise) and Jamie Foxx’s jive-talking ex-con.
To be fair, the film does get a little funnier as the plot kicks in, with Bateman, Day and Sudeikis coming on like a modern-day answer to The Three Stooges. One scene, as they hide in Pine’s apartment and accidentally get doped up on laughing gas, is a particular nod to Moe, Larry and Curly. But, more lewd than laugh-out-loud funny, the gags rarely get out of the groin.
Directed and co-written by Sean Anders – who worked on the screenplay for last year’s much funnier We’re the Millers, also starring Sudeikis and Aniston – Horrible Bosses 2 passes the time, but that’s about it. If anything suggests how limp it is, it’s the end credits featuring the now-traditional outtakes. Even they barely raise a smile.
General release from Fri 28 Nov.