By: Kevin Jordan
There’s a first time for everything.
After watching the terrible Dumb and Dumber To, I tried to think of any comedy sequel that was good or even worth watching, but came up blank. Considering the premise of Horrible Bosses, it was difficult to come up with a scenario in which a sequel would be anything but redundant and humorless. As you can see, my expectations were not very high. Compounding on this, my drive to the theater that normally takes 30 minutes ended up taking an hour and twenty minutes and I spent at least half of it fantasizing about turning I-25 into demolition derby. By the time I got to the theater, I was frustrated and angry and in no mood for comedy. Imagine my surprise when I found myself laughing twenty minutes into Horrible Bosses 2.
Before watching this film, I was guessing that our heroes from the first film would be our horrible bosses in the sequel and I wasn’t wrong. However, they were horrible in a different way; not horrible in an evil way like their former bosses, but horrible in that they just weren’t good at it.
The movie begins with the trio of Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day), and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) appearing on a morning talking show to promote their new product – the shower buddy – which is their new business’ only product. The scene quickly devolves into a faux masturbation scene and I thought we were going to be in for a very long movie since whipping out that kind of comedy (ahem) is usually something you don’t do in the very first scene. Luckily, that ended up being the low point of the movie.
The next scene introduces us to Rex Hanson (Chris Pine) and his father, Burt (Christoph Waltz), owners of a company that wants to distribute the shower buddy. Burt orders 100,000 units and the guys are ecstatic. They acquire a loan, hire a staff, and build the units, even finishing the order three days early. But when they go to meet Burt, Burt informs them that he is cancelling the order, explaining to them that when they default on their loan, he will buy the shower buddies at a fraction of the cost, including the patent, and sell them at a bigger profit. Thus, we now have the true horrible boss established and the only redundancy occurring in the form of the guys coming up with a plan to defeat him.
If you‘ve seen any of the previews, you know that plan is to kidnap Rex and hold him for ransom. Now you know why. The nice thing about this plot is allowed them to continue the theme of the bumbling fools trying to perpetrate a crime without feeling like a rehash. Even the scenes with the other returning characters (Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston) felt fresh and not forced. Their scenes even serve to move the plot forward instead of just being inserted for a cheap, nostalgic laugh. Of course, it helps that all three of those actors are very good at their jobs, stealing their scenes from the main characters. Not to be left out, Pine and Waltz also perform their parts well, though Pine was much more enjoyable (Waltz is coming dangerously close to becoming a caricature of his Inglorious Basterds role).
By the time the movie was over, I had completely released all of the anger and frustration I walked in with and, quite possibly, seen the first decent comedy sequel in years (if not ever). Maybe it’s true what they say – laughter is the best medicine. Of course, there’s a good chance demolition derby would have accomplished that release as well.
Rating: If you can handle some pretty crass humor, don’t ask for any money back. If you can’t, then a couple will dollars back will do.