Sequels to comedies are among the trickiest and most unnecessary sequels, a fact that this year's funniest sequel ("22 Jump Street") lampooned.
Sequels to comedies are among the trickiest and most unnecessary sequels, a fact that this year’s funniest sequel (“22 Jump Street”) lampooned.
Just a few weeks after the lackluster “Dumb and Dumber To” we get a sequel to 2011’s “Horrible Bosses,” a super-dark comedy about three bumbling pals who decide to murder one another’s bosses.
The pitch-black humor of the first movie could be an antidote for the holiday bustle, but the sequel proves even more uneven than the first movie. It’s the minimum of funny that you can have with a cast this talented.
Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) have cast aside their horrible bosses and are looking to go into business for themselves. They’ve invented a handy device for the shower, and end up pitching it to a mail-order catalog magnate named Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) and his douchebag son Rex (Chris Pine).
When Bert takes advantage of their lack of business acumen, the guys devise another criminal plan to get back at him. Only this one involves kidnapping instead of murder.
“Horrible Bosses 2” is an inferior sequel, which is par for the course, but it calls attention to this with return visits from key characters from the first film. Scenes involving Kevin Spacey’s now-incarcerated maniacal boss, Jennifer Aniston’s sexually aggressive dentist and Jamie Foxx’s street criminal/advisor are the bright spots. And they all remind you that it was funnier the first time around.
The lead trio was also funnier the first time around, and the chemistry just seems a little off this time (though I still love seeing Charlie Day on the big screen, even if he’s just doing a derivative of his “Always Sunny” character).
Amazingly, the cast boasts three Oscar winners, with Waltz joining Spacey and Foxx. He’s underused, but Waltz’s capacity for villainy will be better suited for his reported role as an upcoming Bond villain. Pine is funnier than you’d expect, though not on par with Channing Tatum for the prettyboy comedian surprise.
The cheap and dirty jokes work best, but the stars-to-laughs ratio is atrocious. File “Bosses 2” under “unnecessary.”