The Hangover series quickly wore out its welcome when it churned out two derivative sequels that did nothing more than ‘rinse and repeat’ the exact formula of the original. Horrible Bosses – being the poor, yet likeable, cousin of the Hangover films – should have known better.
After everything they were forced to endure at the hands of the previous employers, Nick (Jason Batemen), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) return as self-employed entrepreneurs, running their own small business. Investors Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz (who are both better than this) screw the trio over, setting up for another ‘get even’ revenge plot. It’s all very familiar. In fact, the only significant change this time around, is the absence of a ‘horrible boss’.
Having been dealt with in the previous edition, Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey both return for wasted cameo appearances. The other ex-boss Colin Farrell must have been relieved that his character couldn’t make a comeback, sparing him of any contractual involvement with this project. On the other hand, Jamie Foxx has more to do this time, but that’s not necessarily a good thing either.
To be honest, it’s not a complete waste of your space and time. There’s more comedy here than what’ll you find in most money-seeking sequels. When the film isn’t packed with deja-vu moments, it does deliver some funny one-liners and the three gel and clash well as a modern-day Three Stooges.
Fans of the original, who care not for comedies that deviate from their stereotypical formula, should enjoy this enough, even if certain jokes and scenes are far more tasteless and smutty than they needed to be.
Unfortunately, despite a cast that mostly works, Horrible Bosses 2 plays it far too safe, as a sometimes funny, yet ultimately, inferior replication of its predecessor.
THE VERDICT: 2
Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz
Directed by: Sean Anders
Written by: Sean Anders, John Morris
Budget: $42 million
Running time: 108 minutes