Movie review: ‘Horrible Bosses 2’
HORRIBLE BOSSES 2
Directed By Sean Anders
Starring Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz
Rated R, Comedy, 108 minutes
In the sequel to their 2011 film “Horrible Bosses,” the one-time, inept boss-killers are hoping to turn their own invention of “The Shower Buddy” into a profitable company.
During the film’s opening sequence, the three pals, Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), are being interviewed on a segment of an annoyingly perky morning talk show, a live broadcast where the guys argue amongst themselves over the product’s name. When they attempt to demonstrate “The Shower Buddy,” they unwittingly create an obscene sight gag. Finally, Kurt reveals that viewers may learn more online, unaware that combining their full names to create their website address has resulted in a racial slur.
The trio’s lack of funds for manufacturing their product seems to be less of a problem once major catalog purveyor Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) places an initial order for 100,000 units. Hanson sends them to a banker friend who will supply the guys with a $500,000 loan needed for start-up expenses.
While interviewing applicants to work in their factory, Nick, Dale and Kurt demonstrate their own lack of boss qualifications. Kurt hires every attractive woman, Dale hires a frightening ex-con for fear of the consequences if he doesn’t and Nick hires anyone with a sob story. Once all the positions are filled, Nick informs hot-to-trot Kurt that sexual relations between an owner and his female employees is sexual harassment and puts their entire company at risk. Kurt throws a hissy fit, declaring, “Then what’s the point of owning your own business?”
It isn’t long before the guys find out Bert Hanson has used them as patsies after he cancels his order so they will go bust, and he can pick up their product for “pennies on the dollar.” However, Bert hasn’t counted on his spoiled, money-hungry son Rex (Chris Pine, in fine narcissistic form) to throw his lot in with the trio in a plot to kidnap him for a huge ransom paid by daddy.
A modern-day equivalent of the three stooges, each pal displays his own strengths and hang ups. Kurt is supremely self-confident, but totally not politically correct. Dale is secure in his status as a family man, but lacks confidence in both business and his male friendships, while worrier Nick is smarter, but is less assertive than his friends are.
As Nick, Bateman plays wary straight man to his overly exuberant pals, complaining but not reacting when they repeatedly say his name over their pink princess walkie-talkies during the commission of a robbery.
Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey reprise their roles as the bosses from hell. Neither has reformed at all.
Where Aniston’s Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S., is a beautiful dentist who molests her male patients, she is now spearheading a sexual addiction group she uses to spot her next conquest. Likewise, Nick’s one-time boss, Spacey’s Dave Harken, is currently imprisoned, but rather than learning from the experience, prison has taught him to focus and become a more nefarious and ruthless crook than ever.
While not every joke in the harebrained “Horrible Bosses 2” hits its mark, the banter, chemistry and gags defining the friendships between Nick, Dale and Kurt sustain comic tension throughout. Affable and aiming at 30-somethings and beyond, “Horrible Bosses 2” is not intended for a younger crowd, nor for the whole family, nor as a date movie — meant to be seen with your spouse or your friends. What’s so horrible about that?