Review: Horrible Bosses 2

The hardest type of sequel is the one that wasn’t in the original planning. I guess that is true for the vast majority of sequels really, but there are some movies that clearly end with an eye to the future and some that end with the audience getting what they believe is their last glimpse of the characters as their story is now over. And then the movie is a huge success and we get a new wholly original story with familiar characters. Ideally. Or we get Horrible Bosses 2 which is exactly like the original but turned up to 11.

Really there was no way to do a sequel to this story. The three guys (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day) got

Let's all be happy that "Back for more" is just a tagline and not a terrible subtitle.

Let’s all be happy that “Back for more” is just a tagline and not a terrible subtitle.

new jobs and their new bosses are also horrible? That stretches the boundaries of credibility, right? So this time the trio are inventors who get screwed over in a manufacturing deal by terrible people (Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz) and decide to solve their problems through committing a felony or 2, since it worked so well last time. Essentially though, same story, same characters, same comedic beats, including a once again flawlessly hilarious performance by a super sexualized Jennifer Aniston.

In the plus column, Chris Pine is a great addition to this franchise as he has a great sense of comedic timing  and I am fairly certain that he can generate chemistry with anyone. And of course the main trio is comedically gifted.

However, nothing else really works. The inane plotting that is generally too similar to the first film, the contrived situations, the forced jokes, all of it combines to create a pretty boring-with-intermittent-laughs film. Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey reprise their roles from the previous film to relatively little effect, and funny people (Lennon Parham and Jonathan Banks particularly) are given nothing even vaguely funny to work with. It’s just all so bland.

I would venture to guess that this won’t generate a third film. Although I would have said the same thing about what became The Hangover trilogy so who knows what weird flights of fancy Hollywood will take. Were there to be a third film I would hope that they find a way to insert something fun or original into this idea as the cast is all likable. As it stands, this is an average-cum-boring movie that  is eminently missable. C-

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