Plot: What’s it about?
It’s not unknown that if a film is financially successful that chances are there will be a sequel. Sometimes, it’s planned far in advance, other times, it comes from the surprising Box Office returns. There’s a long list of recent sequels that I think surprised many people. Not in terms of quality, but the fact that they were made at all. Such recent ones include Red 2, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, and Think Like a man too. I highly doubt anyone demanded a sequel of those films, and that’s not even touching on some of the ones forthcoming. I enjoyed the original Horrible Bosses quite a bit, but I truly believe that film was complete once it was over. I never anticipated a sequel despite how much I enjoyed that first film. That’s the essential problem with Bosses 2. It has such an unnecessary feeling to it. The king of feeling that everyone involved is just cashing a quick paycheck. All the original players (even Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston) return here, but the whole thing just feels awkward. I won’t say I didn’t laugh since I did quite a bit, but it just left me feeling cold when it was all over.
The sequel begins with Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) doing an infomercial for a new shower product they’ve created. They’re having trouble finding investors until they meet Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) and his son Rex (Chris Pine). Things seems promising enough for them at first, but the three friends are shocked to learn that Bert and his son have other planes. Bert denies ever signing a contract and plans to take over their company all together, and screw them out of their share. Not sure what to do, they turn to Dave (Kevin Spacey in a small cameo this time) who is still in prison, and he basically laughs in their face. It’s not long before the three kidnap Rex and hold him for ransom. After they experience a few hiccups, they seek help from Dean “MF” Jones (Jamie Foxx). There are a few surprises in the plot that I’ll leave secret, but expect many scenes of the guys acting like even bigger buffoons than the first film. I have mixed feelings on Chris Pine here whose character eventually tries to help the three friends since he has harsh feelings towards his father. Once again, we get an action-filled, frenetic climax that stretches plausibility past the breaking point. There are some amusing moments between the trio of friends as well as a bit of tension when they’re kidnapping Rex, despite it being played mostly for laughs.
I won’t say that the original film was high art or a modern classic, but it was fun and holds strong replay value as well as making great use of all the actors. The problem here is that the shenanigans grow tiresome after a while. Bateman has resorted to the straight man of the bunch, but even his character gets old. As for Charlie Day and Sudeikis? They don’t fare much better. Their shtick can grow tiresome at times, but they do manage to squeeze some laughs out of the material. I could’ve done with a little less of the lowbrow humor. Some scenes are more gross than anything else. It’s perfectly watchable, but I don’t think we’ll see a third film any time soon, and that’s probably a good thing.
Video: How’s it look?
I’d just watched the original not too long ago and kept chuckling to myself when looking at Aniston’s tan and Colin Farrell’s combover. Yes, sometimes there’s such a thing as “too much” detail. As anyone whose seen the first knows, Farrell isn’t in the sequel so we won’t be treated to his waning locks. Rather this time around we’ve got Chris Pine’s perpetual 5 o’clock shadow and more of Jamie Foxx’s skull tattoos. Still, the 2.40:1 AVC HD image is everything we’ve come to expect from Warner (or any studio) and that’s just fine. What the movie lacks in style and substance, I suppose it does shine when it comes to how it looks on screen. Vivid colors abound, I noticed no major faults with the film – simply put, this looks exactly as you think it will.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD Master Audio track has a few moments to shine, but all in all it’s consistent with a comedy. Vocals are rich and pure lacking any distortion, I’m still annoyed every time I hear Charlie Day speak, but that’s just me (maybe). Surrounds are there for some added support, the LFE had a scene or two but by and large this is a glorified surround mix. Don’t expect a lot and you’ll be just fine.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Endless Laughter Guaranteed! – The lone DVD supplement is your basic extended promo with stars Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis (as well as a few others) that are chatting about the film.
- Let The Sexual Healing Begin – Follow the road to recovery with the sexual addition group.
- Who Invented The Shower Buddy – Good Morning Los Angeles is used as a backdrop for this not so funny segment.
- Nick Kurt Dale INC: Employee Testimonials – This is actually pretty funny, or at least I thought so. I expect it to be copied on other supplemental packages.
- It’s The Shower Buddy – Infomercial – If you’ve ever seen Billy Mays’ infomercials, this one is actually pretty clever.
- High Speed Crash Course – We get a more dissected scene breakdown of the cop chase sequence and Bateman’s reaction to Foxx actually driving the car.
- Off The Cuff: One Liners You Didn’t See – “Kinda” deleted scenes, but more along the lines of Sony’s “Line-O-Rama.”
- DVD/Digital Copy
The Bottom Line
Arguably a sequel that nobody asked for, Horrible Bosses 2 is inferior in almost every way to the original film. It’s clear that the magic is lost here. I did laugh a few times, but nothing resonated after the credits rolled. It’s worth a rental, but it lacks the replay value of the original film and simply feels tired. The stars give it their all, but only they can carry the film so far.