This movie delivered pretty much exactly what it promised, and exactly what I expected when I plopped down in my comfy chair with my oversized, overpriced pop.
So why the snarky title, you ask?
Well, I’m not sure. All I know is that the movie wrestled only a few of half-hearted chuckles out of me, and some of those were during the outtakes in the credit sequence. I enjoyed Horrible Bosses. I thought it was funny, somewhat original, and even had a few surprises up its sleeve. The sequel, I’m sorry to say, is uninspired even with the performances, which are obviously born of a great love for comedy.
The plot of Horrible Bosses 2 begins with our three protagonists, Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day), and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), promoting their new product, the Shower Buddy, on a morning talk show. They’ve decided (unsurprisingly) that they’d like to try being their own bosses (and also because no one will hire a guy who tried to kill his previous boss, I’m assuming), but need startup capital to get the Shower Buddies manufactured.
Enter Bert (Christoph Waltz) and Rex Hanson (Chris Pine). They own a mail order business ala SkyMall and agree to buy 100,000 Shower Buddies. The guys get a loan, hire some hot unqualified women (more on that later), and manufacture the Buddies. The Hanson’s quickly screw the guys over, leaving them 500k in the hole and three days to pay back a bridge loan to the bank.
The first suggestion is murder (shocker), but the guys remember they suck at that, so they move to kidnapping Rex (the rich, playboy son) instead. Cue ensuing cameos by Dean (Mfer) Jones (Jamie Foxx), Dave Harkin (Kevin Spacey) and Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston). The three of them make up the absolute best parts of the movie, hands down. They bring life and humor into an otherwise flat landscape of tired dialogue and weathered jokes.
I don’t need to go into details about how the rest of the story works out (or doesn’t), but I will say Chris Pine’s character infused the tale with an unpredictable darkness that would have worked…in a different film. Things work out in the end, for the most part, because that’s the kind of movie this is, and we all go home a few IQ points lower than we arrived.
THE GOOD: Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, the maid, and a brief scene involving laughing gas and a closet.
THE BAD: Ninety percent of the jokes in the film are racist or sexist. There’s not a single female in the movie whose sole purpose is not a stereotype – from the uneducated hot girls they hire to the girls jogging on the street, with jokes about how hilarious sexual harassment is in between, basically we all exist for the visual or physical pleasure of the main (male) characters. Then there’s Dale’s wife, a harried woman who just had triplets and spends all day worrying her husband is cheating on her (because she can’t do better? Dale is a moron who should never have procreated in the first place. That’s pretty much it for females in the film, but don’t worry–there are also plenty of racist jokes to go around! Most prominently, Asian and African-American stereotypes out in full force. There might have been a Jewish joke tossed in for good measure, and a few jabs at homosexuals, too.
I mean, we wouldn’t want to leave anyone out.
Other than that, there are more than a few puzzling components. First off, was Dale this clueless and dumb in the first installment? It doesn’t seem like it to me. He’s basically so stupid I don’t know how he manages to dress and feed himself every morning, never mind hold down a job or a household. Cripes. Secondly…I think I’ve already blocked out the majority of the other things that made me go hmmmmmmmm.
At any rate, if you like this kind of bargain basement cheap trick humor, you might want to catch this one on On Demand in a couple of months. If you’re looking for something to see in the theatre, check out Insterstellar. It isn’t going to be the same on the small screen.