Kyle J. Steenblik

Horrible Bosses 2 is amusing, but second rate comedy, at best.

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Horrible Bosses 2 is not a terrible movie, it is neither is it entirely worthwhile.  It is funnier than it deserves to be, and much of that is due to some remarkable chemistry, and first rate delivery of second rate material, and maybe a third rate story.  I will gladly admit that this movie got a lot of laughs, and many of them were from me, but I question if I was laughing at the same things the as rest of the audience.  Many times I found the premise of the joke, or the delivery funnier than the content of the gag.  There were countless moments where this film felt more like a group of actors and comedians just trying to make each other laugh in a drawn out sketch comedy routine.  In this way the direction, while competent, lacked cohesiveness and consistency.

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Tired of always answering to others, Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) go into business for themselves.  After demonstrating the prototype for an invention called the Shower Buddy, the guys attract the attention of Rex Hanson (Chris Pine) and his father, Bert (Christoph Waltz). Bert invests in the trio’s product, then cancels the order and steals their idea.  Now heavily in debt and with no legal recourse, Nick, Dale and Kurt decide to kidnap Rex and use the ransom money to pay off their loans.

Reflecting back on the movie I struggle to pick out memorable moments.  Anything I could hold up as a redeeming quality, or even as an example of why the movie did not work.  If I didn’t have notes, and an eyewitness placing me in the theatre I would question if I actually saw this movie.  For lack of much better, I will appeal to the few notes I have.  (Editorial point: these notes may not be in chronological order, writing orderly notes in the dark is not a skill I have)

  • This film cannot seem to decide what kind of comedy it wants to be.
  • They are mixing lampoonish crude humor with some conceptual gags that don’t fit well together.
  • Haven’t we progressed beyond gay jokes?
    • Apparently not.
  • Charlie Day is super Charlie Dayish.
  • Is Jamie Foxx’s character critical to this plot, or sick comic relief?
    • Yes, surprisingly the most subtle character in the film may also be the most relevant to the plot.
  • I cannot tell if I’m laughing because it is funny, or because it funny that it was supposed to be funny but isn’t, which makes it ironically funny.  (Yes, I wrote that in the dark)

This is an identity crisis on film.  Is it funny?  Yes, there are moments of genuine humor.  Is there any consistency to the story, characters, and tone of the film?  None at all.  Overall, this film is mostly harmless, somewhat funny, and a moderate waste of time.  3 out of 5

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