Say what you will about modern comedies. And judging from what Hollywood has kicked out in the last, say, five years, you might be able to muster up a whole lot. But once in a while something comes along that is funny enough to help you push all that off your plate and just laugh your tail off.
“Horrible Bosses 2” is that film.
Now, note that I didn’t refer to something good enough to make you forget. I called “Horrible Bosses 2” something funny enough. That’s just what it is, and not much more or less. It pulls just enough from the first film to make you remember where it got itself grounded, and brings forward just enough new elements to make you appreciate the fact that you aren’t seeing the same old thing yet again. “Horrible Bosses 2” is laughable on multiple levels, and on multiple occasions.
Back again are Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day). Their idea? A car-wash inspired shower head called the Shower Buddy. The reason? Well, they don’t want to work for anyone else ever again, but they are willing to do their own thing and roll with it. They get approached after completely ruining a television morning show appearance, and are lured into a pretty tempting production deal. Wealthy businessman Burt Hanson (Christoph Waltz) and his son Rex (Chris Pine) persuade them to produce 100,000 units, prompting the trio to take on a business loan, warehouse lease and more. But when the investors reveal a scam they had in mind all along, Nick, Kurt and Dale are forced to take action.
Seeking advice, they turn to a dark place: Nick’s old boss Dave (Kevin Spacey), who is incarcerated and unwilling to really be of assistance. So, they do the next logical thing, which is to kidnap Rex and hold him ransom. But, to prepare, they rip off a tank of laughing gas from Dale’s old boss Julia (Jennifer Aniston) and visit “Motherfucker” Jones (Jamie Foxx), a convicted felon who urges them to keep their target unconscious throughout.
By this point, you might think you know where “Horrible Bosses 2” is going. But things take a slight twist when Rex shows up at the trio’s office and wants to be in on the kidnapping. His argument is that his dad doesn’t really care about him, and he’d like to make a little severance pay for the years of neglect. They reluctantly agree and work with Rex, who has a few tricks up his sleeve that he didn’t really disclose. The whole thing culminates in multiple run ins with law enforcement, car chases and over the top laughs galore.
“Horrible Bosses 2” works because the chemistry those in the lead roles have with each other is extremely authentic. The balance between Bateman, Day and Sudeikis is tangible and holds substantial weight up against the backdrop of some very excessive situations that might tear apart weaker trios. As individuals they’re each strong, but combined, they’re darn near unstoppable. Heck, the only stronger male entourage I can think of in recent memory was, well, “Entourage.” When you throw in strong, recognizable personalities like Waltz and Pine, you’re setting things up for an easy home run. You can get so much out of the dynamic humor in place, from a scene in a temporary shower to a simple mistake made by using a permanent marker on a dry erase board. Foxx and Spacey are put in support roles that demonstrate how well they know themselves as actors, reflecting a keen ability to take a backseat yet still give so much to the film as a whole.
Watching these folks jaunt around southern California is sort of an exercise in futility. I mean, you know that things are going to get worse before they get better, but you never really know what specifically is going to give next. Director Sean Anders puts just enough adversity in front of the trio en route to their dreams of success that you’ll wince more than a few times despite consistently wanting them to win scene after scene. They’re all full of profanity and sexual innuendo, so seeing them hit their several speed bumps feels awfully entertaining.
I suppose at a baseline you don’t have to analyze “Horrible Bosses 2” with all that much depth or breadth. If you do, you won’t be disappointed because the jokes are funny and the pace is just frantic enough to keep you on your toes. If you don’t, well, that’s not the end of the world, either. This is not a film that demands all that much from its audience, but in return you’ll be given enough humor and entertainment value to last you a while.
For a real treat, check out he extended cut with even more over the top humor and inappropriateness. Don’t feel that you’ll miss out big time if you don’t, however. The meat of the film will be cooked well enough to your liking, I promise.
The film’s 2.40:1 High Definition video transfer is sharp and clear all the way through with minimal grain and fantastic coloration. Bright, natural light shines consistently during “Horrible Bosses 2” and is never really overused (the film does take place in southern California, after all). The contrast between close-ups and broad angled pans is pretty subtle for an over the top comedy, but it does its job successfully, especially with the car chases.
The sound is fantastic and loud, with no issues in place at all. The English 5.1 DTS-High Definition Master Audio soundtrack is in your face from the get go, with a lot of emphasis put on the laughter and insults. Background noise has a very minimal role, which might be the only true downfall. Otherwise, you’re able to hear the good, the bad and the ugly that “Horrible Bosses 2” raises sans any difficulty. Other audio choices are Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital options, while English, French and Spanish subtitles are available.
The Blu-ray disc comes with a digital copy, standard definition DVD and the already mentioned extended cut, plus a bunch of featurettes specific to the film’s already over the top content.
A Final Word:
It’s funny, modern and worth watching if you’ve already seen the original. Pay no attention to the naysayers. This one’s going to make you laugh at another’s expense, and not feel bad about it.