THE follow up to the 2011 hit comedy picks up where its predecessor left off, yet it never quite reaches the dizzy heights of the first film. Horrible Bosses 2 features the same all-star cast with the inclusion of more Hollywood stars. On paper Horrible Bosses 2 had the recipe to be a contender for comedy film of the year yet sadly falls short of the mark.
The story of Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) is essentially a role reversal from the first film. This time the narrative focuses on the trio, who are now the bosses of their own company. The three goofy guys have an ingenious idea – the ‘Shower Buddy’. The product is essentially a shower head with a shampoo compartment installed into it yet, somehow, they receive a business deal worth $500,000 from the conniving Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz).
Bert Hanson is a cunning businessman who takes advantage of Nick, Kurt and Dale, leaving them $500,000 in debt and their ‘Shower Buddy’ company in tatters. After some deliberation the three decide that their only option is to return to their criminal buddy, Mr Jones. Mr Jones (Jamie Foxx) comes up with the foolproof idea of kidnapping Hanson’s son and holding him for a $500,000 ransom, which would free the boys from their debt. The easily led trio decide to go along with the plan but, as with the prequel, not everything goes to plan.
The story had potential, but it doesn’t quite grip you like the first film did. Sadly, Horrible Bosses 2 doesn’t bring anything new to the table, both in terms of narrative and comedy. The predictable storyline leaves nothing but disappointment. There was a scene towards the end of the film which was almost an exact duplicate from the first film, showing an inherent lack of effort put into the script. Somebody should have told the writers that jokes get worse the more times you tell them. Another issue I have is that the character development is abysmal. The dynamic of the group is something which has been used many times before and is frankly cringe-worthy towards the end of the film.
I must admit though, it’s not all bad. Through all the bad scenes of the film there are a few well delivered gags which do deserve credit. The cameos from Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Anniston are probably the best sequences of the film but are also a harsh reminder of how good the film could have been.
Sadly, the new director, Sean Anders along with the new writers have made a hash out of a film which I could have loved. It’s very rare that I check how long there is left till the end of a film yet I found myself clock watching throughout. A film with such promise falls short due to a bad script and rehashed jokes. If you are an avid fan of the first film then you will probably enjoy Horrible Bosses 2 but casual fans will see a film trying to live in the limelight of its prequel.