In 2011, during the aftermath of the GFC and in the wake of what would become the Occupy Movement, Hollywood gave the world three unlikely heroes, who were well and truly part of the 99%, and created a plot that would allow this trio – Dale (Charlie Day), Nick (Jason Bateman) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) – to stick it to their truly horrible bosses by murdering them, with the help of hapless hit man, Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx).
It made total sense in the first movie, because everyone – and I mean everyone – was feeling the effects of working under stressful conditions but having no means to break themselves from it. The film was a hit, and introduced us to Jennifer Aniston in a memorable comedic turn outside of Rachel Green, as well as Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland and Colin Farrell.
With the release of Horrible Bosses 2, we’re once again treated to Nick, Kurt and Dale in a workplace(ish) environment, this time, trying their entrepreneurial luck on father and son businessmen Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz as Rex and Bert Hanson. When Rex and Bert screw NickKurtDale (the 3 protagonists’ business name – say that name fast) over on a business deal, they decide, once again, that a hair brained illegal scheme will turn their luck around.
The jokes aren’t really new in this film, but they’re still there. Sudeikis is a little sillier in this film, Bateman is a lot more the straight man but Day as hopeless Dale is still as dim-witted as ever. Fans of the first film won’t be disappointed, but if you’re watching this franchise for the first time, you might not be into all the humour. Sure it’s funny that the men plan their kidnapping project on a whiteboard using a permanent marker, but I’m sure many were waiting for the equivalent of a cocaine explosion in Chris Pine’s living room. It was very tongue-in-cheek however, for the boys to appear on a breakfast show and announce the name of their company NickKurtDale to host Keegan-Michael Key. Reactions will range from giggles to outright hoots of laughter.
Guest appearances in this film will probably get people interested in seeing the boys again. Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston reprise their roles as horrible bosses, and Christoph Waltz as new horrible boss, Bert Hanson is pretty good here too. Whilst Chris Pine proves that he’s more than just a pretty face.
Surprise guest appearance award goes to Jonathan Banks as Detective Hatcher, and while he doesn’t have that many comedic lines, it’s nice to see him here right before the world sees him again as Mike Ehrmantraut in Better Call Saul.
Horrible Bosses 2 is more of the same slapstick, frat boy-like humour that was delivered in the first film so if you loved the first one, then this is for you. If you weren’t a big fan, give it a shot anyway and remember to check your brain at the door and bring a heavy sense of humour with you.
Review Score: TWO AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Horrible Bosses 2 is out in cinemas nationwide on December 11th.