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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Horrible Bosses 2 Review: More of the Same, and We Like it That Way

Horrible Bosses 2 uses the same comedic puzzle pieces to entertain once more.

Horrible Bosses 2 might as well be subtitled in Latin 'Exactam" or "Perfecte" for its near exact copy of the 2011 original. For the most part, we seem to get Unfunny Comedy Sequel, riddled with plot holes and standing for nothing more than a quick cash-in on past success. Luckily, Horrible Bosses 2 is just as good as the original, filled with more of what we liked while knowing exactly what it's not.

For Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) life is much better than when we left them. They've all walked away from their evil bosses, even landing one of them (Kevin Spacey) in jail. Meanwhile, Dale's sexually available former boss Julia (Jennifer Aniston) is still pursuing him, but that doesn't faze the boys. They've decided to launch their own business, a forgettable item called The Shower Buddy, which they demonstrate to (interesting) effect during a fluffy morning talk show. But when high-powered businessman Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) makes a deal to distribute their Buddy, they soon realize he plans to cheat them out of their company. Eventually - and of course - they retaliate, kidnapping Hanson's son Rex (Chris Pine), not knowing that Rex has other plans. As the police encircle the boys, they must re-enlist the help of Dean "MF" Jones (Jamie Foxx) to not only escape, but to put things right before they find Julia a livable alternative to what awaits them in prison.

Bosses 2 Director Sean Anders lets our actors run their mouths whenever it suits them, running a hybrid of staged lines and encouraging the ad-libbing which made for so much great comedy in the original. Here, he employs the "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" mentality, which luckily results in some very funny comedy. Julia almost gets her wish to tag-team the boys, nabbing one of them in the process as caught in some funny security video, while Rex learns just how inept these guys are at the caper they are planning.

Aniston, America's Hottie Sweetheart, saves this movie at many times with her unabashedly horny attitude, willing to drop "cock" and "pee" in the same sentence during a pivotal 3rd act sequence. Her performance is what defined the original, and while not used as much here, her vinyl dresses and plunging necklines demonstrate her readiness to party with Dale - or anyone else for that matter - anytime. The boys have their comedic rhythm down to orchestra-like effectiveness, able to defy bounce ad libs between the rehearsed script by Writer Anders and six others. Usually, that many hands in the cookie jar give us something horrible like Dumb and Dumber To, but here things feel like they picked up right where the first left off.

Not every joke hits its mark, but when they do it was hard to hear what they say immediately afterwards because our test audience was laughing so much. Still, I now believe in "Half the Jokes Twice the Laughs," an idea that Anders desperately needed in the awful DD2. Other parts - such as the slick Ocean's Eleven-esque kidnapping plan - shows Anders' ability to upscale when needed. But Bosses 2 endears itself above the gags and pretty pictures, moving assets like Aniston around without bashing people over the head with her performance. Granted, we would have appreciated seeing her in even more risque positions (that's a crush admission), but her devilish grin and potty mouth provide just enough to set a scene while others around her react. Anders makes no suppositions about what he's got: Suedkis, Day, and Bateman are the idiot's version of Clooney, Pitt, and Damon, ready tear each other down with a slant, or a key misspelled word on a whiteboard that won't come off. Foxx returns to steal most scenes he's in, while a pseudo cameo by another in two scenes makes for some of the film's best. It's a good example of the same pieces of the same puzzle that's entertained for years being retooled into something seemingly new.

Horrible Bosses 2 is ridiculousness you know you're going to get, wrapped around a message of corporate greed that itself is wrapped in the phony "We care about you; we're family." We can't see this going much further, and it's nothing you haven't seen before, but the pieces make for a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Horrible Bosses 2 is rated R for strong crude sexual content and language throughout and has a runtime of 108 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

2 comments :

the stockbroker December 8, 2014 at 11:31 AM  
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the stockbroker December 8, 2014 at 11:34 AM  

We went to see this sequel hoping it was 1/2 as funny as the original, it was NOT!! We contemplated leaving within the first 10 minutes, we go to movies 1-2 times a week and have only left early once. The actors did nothing except yell over each other, said lines that wouldn't have been funny to a 10 yr. old and were even less funny to an adult. The premise made little if any sense, the fact they did what they did with nothing in writing would not be plausible ever, and when we did leave ~20-25 minutes into the movie we were still waiting to just smile at something as we had given up on laughing. WOW, whomever green lighted this should lose their job. STAY AWAY

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