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Review: Horrible Bosses 2

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You know when something is funny you just have to do it again, right? That’s the logic with Horrible Bosses 2. The original film actually had an appealing cast that worked well together pulling the film out of cliche and into funny. Seems reasonable to assume they could do it again.

In fact so reasonable that they brought everyone back (well everyone who survived the first). Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day all jump back into roles that were never meant to be jumped back into. Can the trio elevate another film?

Horrible Bosses 2
Director: Sean Anders
Rated: R
Release Date: November 26, 2014 

With Horrible Bosses 2 we get a sequel to a movie that really didn’t even remotely set up a plan for a sequel. Clearly a one off, the original kind of wrapped everything up so this movie has to reestablish everything all over again. Basically the film is about horrible bosses in name only. Now the three idiots find themselves screwed out of money by investor Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) and in danger of losing the company they founded. In order to get their money back they decide to kidnap Hanson’s son, Rex (Chris Pine). Of course they’re just as inept, if not more so, as before so things spiral out of control and miraculously pull in their previous bosses played by Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey.

Much like the first film this one survives entirely on the charm of its leading trio. Bateman, Sudeikis and Day work really well together even when the stuff they’re doing isn’t that funny. The movie can be down right stupid at times, but thanks to these guys playing off each other so well it’s actually funny. If there’s a reason to see this movie it’s because these guys are hilarious even if they basically morphed Sudeikis’ character into a second fall guy and had Bateman run the entire straight man routine. Kind of fair since there really isn’t a better straight man working today than Bateman.

That doesn’t mean this is a classic or even as funny as the first. The premise is stretched incredibly thin, and while it sets up some truly hilarious scenes it doesn’t work all that well as a whole. The trio may be good, but even they can’t pull off some of the comedy that just isn’t funny. Aniston’s sex driven dentist jokes get especially old as the film wears on and Kevin Spacey is criminally underutilized. Surprisingly Pine pops right into the gang wonderfully, but Waltz seems like a fish out of water in his limited screen time.

There’s also very little to get attached to. Unlike the original where you could somewhat sympathize with the plight of the gang this time around they are truly just idiots. The premise that they’d be able to start their own company is laughable and as the laughs build up the actual plot disappears. A film full of funny scenes is fine, but something gets lost when that’s all there is. 

Is Horrible Bosses 2 a film with funny scenes? Yes, thanks to its awesome cast. Is it a good comedy? Not really.

Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Flixist. He has worked as a critic for more than a decade, reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and videogames. He will talk your ear off about James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.