Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

Horrible Bosses 2 – 2014

Horrible-Bossses-2-10Are these films necessary? Even remotely? What do they offer to the greater filmgoing community?
Why is their spot on the theatre program of greater importance than other hidden gems released round the same time? 

Well, we all know the answer; they’re not important, they’re not necessary and they’re tools designed to squeeze every dollar, pound, euro, frank, or krona from the passive and naive public.
2014 wasn’t a standout year for the comedy genre when compared to other years, and “Horrible Bosses 2”, although not a terrible film, acts as an example of the standard we received. Of course there were some exceptions which have continued on to receive Oscar buzz, but for the most part, we were presented with sequels, spin-offs and everything in between which ultimately turned out to be not as good as their originals. 

So, what occupations have our knuckle-dragging trio of ignoramuses moved on to in which their bosses once again give them reasons to pursue the act of murder? They haven’t. Huh?
Instead, Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) have decided to invent something called ‘The Shower Buddy’; an archetypal infomercial product that seems highly impractical and rather stupid.
Of course, for narrative progression’s sake, the product becomes a hit with a father/son partnership of venture capitalists, Bert & Rex Hanson (Christoph Waltz and Christopher Pine) who all too quickly show off their deceptive and cunning trickery, leaving the three ‘inventors’ effectively, in business terms; “screwed.”
After they plot to get their money back and salvage some credibility, an elaborate kidnapping is planned and before too long, “Horrible Bossess 2” becomes 1980’s “Nine to Five”. They even go the extra mile to include a scene dedicated to referencing the film!

Horrible-Bosses-2-pic-15Although “Horrible Bosses 2” doesn’t join the pantheon of great comedy films, it’s not as much of an atrocity as other reviewers have made it out to be.
The major problem for the film is sadly it’s title. Yes, there are returning performances from Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston, whose characters were the central antagonists of the original, but they (especially Spacey) are sidelined by the new storyline at hand. “Horrible Affiliates” would have been a more appropriate title for me.
Either way, “Horrible Bosses 2” attempts to channel the original in terms of tone and antics, which it does to an extent. The way things work out is infuriatingly stupid to watch as an audience member, but that’s the point.
Whilst listening to the Empire Movie podcast, I heard “Horrible Bosses 2” referred to as “A better Dumb & Dumber sequel than Dumb & Dumber To” – Brilliant. 

Christoph Waltz looks tired and his performance appears effortless and uninspired. It’s sad to say so because Waltz is a phenomenal actor that is capable of matching it with the elite any day of the week and twice on Sundays. His character is highly one-dimensional and offers no real threat or presence. His star power is utilised to fill seats in the theatre, which sadly leaves audience members feeling rather cheated.
I have faith that we will witness the calibre of villain that Waltz is renowned for playing in the forthcoming “Spectre”, I know he won’t let us down for that one.
Christopher Pine on the other hand offers a lot of energy and excitement to his character and the film overall. Although I’ve been a little sceptical of Pine in the past, I must say that his performance as Rex is one of the better factors to take from the film. Unlike Waltz, it’s obvious that Pine is excited to be on set and have fun with his character.
Charlie Day is also enjoyable to watch. He’s not as loveable or entertaining as his definitive character of Charlie Kelly from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, but he channels some of that energy into Dale which is pleasant to watch for the most part.

o-HORRIBLE-BOSSES-2-TRAILER-facebookThe main offender when it comes to performances however, is Jennifer Aniston. What happened?!
It’s understandable that she had the shock factor down pat in the original, so she’d no doubt continue and exaggerate her antics in the follow-up. The extent of that exaggeration was not what I expected in the slightest. Some of the smut to leave her mouth is beyond offensive, to the point where “the line” is so far crossed, it’s a mere speck on the horizon.
From what I hear, there was an enormous amount of Aniston content they had to cut due to it being “inappropriate for the film”. I’ll say no more…

There’s not much else to say. It’s exactly what you’d expect out of a mediocre comedy sequel. Ultimately, “Horrible Bosses 2” is another day in the business where these select group of overpaid individuals can collect another fat pay check for playing characterisations of themselves.
Apart from Aniston’s undignified efforts, Waltz’s lack of passion and Spacey’s limited screen time, the performances are fine across the board, but it’s not leaving many contenders after those omissions. It’s not one that you need to see, it’s not one I’ll recommend, but ultimately, after the utter obliterating the film received from several critics, I can say that it’s not that bad.
Lets hope the third will not grow to see the light of day. We don’t need any more. 


2 comments on “Horrible Bosses 2 – 2014

  1. Dan O.
    January 31, 2015

    Good review Billy. I laughed, which is probably just cause the cast is so willing to do whatever the material asks of them.

    • wmsteele
      January 31, 2015

      Thanks Dan!
      Yeah there were definitely some laughable moments throughout it. I liked the first one more but that’s to be expected nowadays, particularly with comedies

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