Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day reprise their roles from 2011’s “Horrible Bosses” in “Horrible Bosses 2,” the sequel nobody asked for — but what the hell!
Since its predecessor achieved the blockbuster crown making more than $200 million worldwide, cynics couldn’t stop Hollywood from milking the film’s profitable premise and harmonious crew of actors.
“Horrible Bosses 2” adds Academy Award-winner Christoph Waltz and perennial leading man Chris Pine to its already high-wattage cast.
“When you can class it up with some Oscar winners, it becomes a really nice, balanced cocktail,” Bateman said about the extended cast in a college roundtable interview.
The sequel follows Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudeikis) and Dale (Day) as they decide to be their own bosses and start their own company called Nick-Kurt-Dale — say it repeatedly in a fast-paced manner, and the first of many racial jokes will be revealed. The group of friends comes up with the life-changing invention called “Shower Buddy” that cuts a person’s shower time by soaking, soaping and rinsing in 60 seconds.
Their product attracts the attention of frugal businessman Burt Hanson (Waltz) and his crazy son, Rex (Pine). Although Rex’s lunacy abides by the laws of Hollywood black comedy, Pine’s refreshing take on a handsome psychopath with daddy issues comically fuses with the strong chemistry of the three main jokesters.
When Hanson misleads the Nick-Kurt-Dale Company into spending $500,000 for the production of “Shower Buddy,” Nick, Kurt and Dale contact their go-to buddy when it comes to breaking bad, Dean “Motherfucker” Jones (Jamie Foxx) regarding steps on how to be successful “kidnappers.” Instead of devising a murder plot like in the first film, the three losers choose to mellow the evilness down and do it nonviolently a la “9 to 5.”
Of course, the road to success wouldn’t be amusing without the essential supporting actors. Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston return in limited but boisterous scenes to drop more verbal deuces that are only humorous because award-winning actors deliver them.
As Nick’s newly incarcerated former boss David Harken, Spacey establishes the total mutation of the supposedly mature audience into a crowd of 5-year-olds with his crisp articulation of the word “balls.” Julia Harris (Aniston), the sex-addicted and homoerotically aroused dentist, comes back with a mission to complete her eidetic collection of penises. It is still cringe worthy to witness a brunette version of Rachel Green lewdly clad in leather and suggesting outlandish acts of sexual gratification.
“Horrible Bosses 2” relies on its outrageous troupe of characters to keep the boat afloat and away from comedic bankruptcy. Its most detrimental blunder is the fact that every other character in the film outplays the main horrible boss. The significance of Hanson’s role is surprisingly diminished into a small narrative tool that doesn’t even benefit from Waltz’s Oscar-proven expertise.
Great casting really does wonders, turning up the charisma and potential of “Horrible Bosses 2.” The whole gang of performers in “Horrible Bosses 2” can certainly take credit for making the film a viable financial success.
As screenwriter Sean Anders (“We’re the Millers”) takes the reins with the script, “Horrible Bosses 2” fails to provide a solid and genuine serving of humor despite its wonderfully chaotic casting, though the bawdy ridiculousness of the first film remains.
The racial and sexual antics of “Horrible Bosses 2” are undeniably vanilla flavored. The source of a joke’s hilarity can either be its sheer stupidity or its well-situated delivery. Unlike “Horrible Bosses,” the sequel resorts almost entirely to cheap ploys to gain laughs. Although the balance of absurdity, liveliness and heart of the three best friends certainly is fun to watch, it is the sum of all the secondary roles that makes it deserving of a decent box-office performance.
“Horrible Bosses 2” is running at UC Theater.
Contact Majick Tadepa at [email protected].