To sequel or not to sequel, that is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to consider the characters and how the plot develops…
Ah, to hell with it. It’s all about the money.
The first Horrible bosses was an unexpected hit and deservedly so. Our three hapless employees Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), on a drunken night out, came up with a “foolproof” plan to murder their horrible bosses and wackiness ensues. The three leads put in solid performances but what made the film fun were their genuinely horrible bosses, particularly Kevin Spacey, who can do arrogant and evil in his sleep by now, and Jennifer Aniston trying quite successfully to break out of her good girl image. A decent, well plotted film with a good bunch of laughs.
But none of that matters nearly as much as the fact that Horrible Bosses cost $35 million to make and brought in just under £210 million (Box Office Mojo). A 6 to 1 return on your money? Them’s the kind of numbers that Hollywood like.
This means that a sequel was inevitable but was it necessary? The first one left things at a pretty good finishing point and as we’ve seen in the past, just making a good comedy is hard, making a good comedy sequel is rare indeed (I’m looking at you Hangover 2 & 3).
So did Horrible Bosses 2 work? Sadly, no. If you’re a really big fan of the first one or just looking for some mindless entertainment, then it’s OK, but if you were hoping for a 22 Jump Street then you’ll be disappointed.
The new plot sees our three main leads from the first film return but this time, trying to get their own company off the ground. They approach investors Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) and his son Rex (Chris Pine) for help and they, inevitably, con them and try to buy their ruined company from under them. Our trio then brainstorm ways to save their company and ultimately come up with the plan of kidnapping Rex and ransoming him to get the money they need.
The idea itself is pretty good but the execution just falls flat. Any shock factor from the first film of just what complete b******s those bosses were is gone, with Spacey and Aniston being decent but uninspiring. The three leads have gone from being a bit dumb to completely moronic and their jokes from clueless to slapstick. Jamie Foxx gets a bigger role this time but does little with it. Pine does his best and does add some energy to an otherwise quite flat film, Waltz, however, is just wasted and clearly doesn’t want to be there.
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