Horrible Bosses 2

You remember how Horrible Bosses wasn’t really a film that lent itself to a sequel, right? It was a movie about a group of guys sick of their bosses. Mostly, they just hung around and talked, although there was also a murder plan put in place. It ended, it was over, the story didn’t have anywhere to go, and that was that. Then news broke that a sequel was in the cards, and it turned out that wasn’t a joke. Horrible Bosses 2 is here.

I have some good news: Horrible Bosses 2 is just as completely mediocre as the original. It has some funny moments, it passes the time relatively well, and it’s not as raunchy as it wishes it was. Almost anything that could be said about the original film applies here as well, except perhaps for how the sequel tries to shoe-horn in the still-alive bosses from the previous film, primarily Jennifer Aniston’s sex-addict character. She actually becomes one of the most-seen actors in this movie, which came as a surprise to me. I thought that maybe she and Kevin Spacey would get cameos. Spacey gets two scenes; Aniston might have 10.

The film begins as Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) decide to start their own business. They’ve created the “shower buddy,” whose purpose I really can’t disclose. It’s not dirty; I just don’t want to waste the words. They go to a businessman, Burt Hanson (Christoph Waltz), with the idea, and he orders 100,000 units. But, after the units are made, the order is withdrawn. In a week or two, Nick, Kurt, and Dale need to pay their lease, and since they won’t be able to, they’ll go bankrupt, and Burt can buy their company for dirt cheap. What a ploy.

Obviously, Burt needs to be dealt with. They’re not planning on killing him, but instead decide to kidnap his son, Rex (Chris Pine), and extort the money out of him that way. They mess it up, but Rex winds up kidnapped anyway — because he kidnaps himself and threatens to “escape” and call the police if they don’t go along with it. He’s a little crazy. You can probably guess where the plot will go from here, but there are a couple of surprises along the way, which was a nice addition.

It’s still not the funniest or raunchiest movie that you’re going to see. It’s not in the least bit intelligent, and its 110-minute running time is about 20 minutes too long. But you won’t be bored for most of the time it plays, it’ll give you some really solid laughs, some groans, and will be worth your time if you really liked the characters from the last film and would like to see more of them.

That’s essentially all that it comes down to. The humor is more of the same — different jokes, obviously, but it’s the same type of humor, and whether or not you enjoy it will largely depend on if you liked the first one — the characters mostly are the same, and the situation is familiar, but just different enough to justify calling Horrible Bosses 2 a sequel and not a remake. Outside of that, you can probably figure out if you should see Horrible Bosses 2 on your own. You don’t need me telling you that it’s just kind of mediocre, since that’s exactly what I thought of the original.

The funniest scenes are Spacey’s, and his two whole scenes almost made me want to go back and re-watch the original just to see if he was that funny in it, too. Batemen, Sudeikis, and Day have a good chemistry and play well off one another, which means that most of the film is inherently watchable just because it has them. Aniston talks dirty and that’s that, Pine is always better as the crazy man than as the straight man, and Waltz is way too good to be in this, but then he was also in The Green Hornet, so who am I to judge?

Horrible Bosses 2 is every way as good, bad, and mediocre as its predecessor. What you thought of the first Horrible Bosses is likely what you’re going to think of its sequel. It’s slightly raunchy, somewhat profane, and moderately funny, even if its 110-minute running time is too long for the level of humor that it sustains. Its actors are good and commit to their characters and it’s not like it’ll be likely to bore you. Is that a recommendation? Maybe.

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