Don’t Know if You Should Be Promoted or Fired, Horrible Bosses 2 Review

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“Horrible Bosses 2” is the sequel to the surprise 2011 hit, “Horrible Bosses.” The sequel brings back the trio of Nick, Kurt, and Dale, once again portrayed by Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis, and Charlie Day, now as the bosses of their own company. The movie opens with the trio plugging their new product and company on a LA morning show, where they share their story and product. They are then contacted by an interested investor, Rex Hanson (Chris Pine) and schedule a meeting. At the meeting they reject Rex Hanson’s initial offer, but wind up with a spoken agreement with Rex’s father Burt Hanson (Christoph Waltz). Believing they are fulfilling their end of the agreement, the trio open up shop and fulfill the order. They actually finish 3 days early and attempt to surprise Burt Hanson with the good news, only to find out they were tricked and will lose their company and the products. The trio is now backed into a corner and get desperate. Like the last film, they decide to turn to crime and scheme, with advice from Mother F&*#@! Jones (Jamie Foxx) of course,  to kidnap Rex to ransom him for the money they need. In a botched kidnapping attempt, that resulted in the trio gassing themselves unconscious, they awake to find Rex tied and gagged in the back of their car. This turns out to be a ruse by Rex who found out about the trio’s plan and decided to help them and ask for more money.

Personally, I really enjoyed the movie. Batemen, Day, and Sudekis have great chemistry with each other and the supporting cast fit and deliver as well Batemen, Day, and Sudekis have an off beat Three Stooges vibe  that pretty much make the movie. They verbal and physical comedy of  Jennifer Aniston reprises her role as the “promiscuous”  Dr. Julia Harris and reminds everyone of her comedy chops. Kevin Spacey in his small stints achieves the almost impossible presence of being  simultaneously terrifying and hilarious. Jamie Foxx brings his cool and comedy back as the horrible negotiator yet surprisingly good adviser that is Mother F%$@#* Jones. Chris Pine delivers a charming and chuckle inducing performance as the spoiled and entitled heir to a billionaire. Finally Christoph Waltz, who plays his part well but I feel he is highly under utilized and does not get to really contribute anything other than star power to the film.

Despite the strong cast, the film will undoubtedly be torn apart by critics. The film is not like “The Hangover 2” where it was essentially the original film rehashed with more shock value. It is at least it’s own movie and a reasonably logical sequel. However, the film is very misogynistic and repeats bits all the time. The most used bit is when Sudekis and Day’s characters continually bounce ideas off of each other and end up in a looping conversation of enthusiasm isolating them from Batemen’s character, then Batemen eventually comes back in and shut downs the increasingly ridiculous conversation. This is remnant of Moe coming down on Larry and Curly. It is done well, but done in excess and sometimes feels needless. Sudekis’s character Kurt seems quite different from his character in the first. In the first film he seemed like a competent person who would let things slip his mind if he was chasing women. This time around his character is much less competent. However not as incompetent as Day’s character Dale. In the first film Dale would unintentionally mess up, like accidentally saving the person they wanted to kill. This time around, he isn’t far from needing to be wrapped in a bubble suit to protect himself.

I believe the biggest disconnect is that the characters mess up absurdly yet are all trying to be straight men. It worked very well in the first one, but doesn’t connect as well this time around. It might be due to Sean Ander’s direction, who is responsible for Adam Sandler using his most annoying voice for an entire movie in “That’s My Boy.”

“Horrible Bosses 2” has the makings of a great comedy, a stellar cast that know comedy, an outrageous but logical plot, and takes a unique approach, but misses that X factor to really tie it all together. It is a bit misogynistic and sometimes needlessly vulgar, but still delivers plenty of laughs. I personally believe it is a worthy sequel to the first and at least worth watching at a matinee if you liked the first or enjoy the comedy styling of any of the three leads.

“Horrible Bosses 2” opens Wednesday November 26, 2014, with many theaters offering early premieres the night before.

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