Friday, November 28, 2014

Horrible Bosses 2

This review originally appeared on the San Francisco Appeal.

Here's the good news: You really don't need to see the first Horrible Bosses in order to understand its sequel, Horrible Bosses 2. Here's the bad news: You don't really need to see Horrible Bosses 2, period.

I saw the first one, laughed a few times, and immediately forgot about it. Going into the sequel I chose not to remind myself what happened in the first one, just to test the theory about whether it would be necessary to or not. I ended up being slightly confused about only one thing: why Kevin Spacey's character, one of the original Horrible Bosses, was now in jail, so, quick explanation for that: in the first, he ends up killing one of the bosses the three heroes wants to kill, because he thinks he's sleeping with his wife.

So, yes, Kevin Spacey has a small role in this one, and he elicited some of the movie's biggest laughs. Also back is Jennifer Aniston, and I couldn't tell you if she was funny or not because I spent most of her screen time distracted by thinking I had to clean my glasses, because the screen would suddenly go all soft and blurry. I can tell you she's just as sex crazed and foul-mouthed as she was the first time.

And, of course, the three original dummies, played by Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day, are also back, now hoping to leave the world of horrible bosses behind by launching their own company, whose first product is a "Shower Buddy," a kind of mini automatic car wash for people. Unfortunately, they get duped into going into business with an evil one-percenter, played by Christoph Waltz, and his equally evil son, (Chris Pine). Before you know it, they're back planning the demise of MORE horrible bosses, although this time the plan involves kidnapping, not murder. And back to help out is Jamie Foxx's Motherfucker Jones.

I'll be honest--I did laugh, several times. Bateman, Sudeikis and Day have really good comedic chemistry, and I will always be a sucker for Bateman's extreme deadpan, straight guy routine. The problem is, almost all of the laughs are completely expected, so that most of the movie is spent just waiting for the punchlines that inevitably come. And that can get pretty boring. There are no real surprises in the Horrible Bosses 2, and for a movie whose plot is supposed to be filled with them, that's a bad sign.

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