Saturday, 16 May 2015

Horrible Bosses 2

Comedy sequels can be great. But they can also be terrible. Warner Bros’ other three-man tale of inappropriate behaviour is of course The Hangover trilogy. The first film in said trilogy was fresh and original, and a huge success. Then came The Hangover Part II and Part III. Part II was basically just a remake of the first, where Part III was like something out of a completely different trilogy. The first Hangover still has a lot of fans, but the sequels disappointed on almost every level. Anchorman 2 was poor, and the upcoming Ted 2 could go either way. Who saw the first Horrible Bosses? A lot of you, right? And how many of you felt it needed a sequel? …Anyone? Yes, Horrible Bosses 2 comes as a bit of a surprise but a surprisingly pleasant one. It’s nowhere near perfect. Hell, I’m not necessarily even saying it’s a good film in terms of quality, but it succeeds at what it is.

Directed by Sean Anders and out now on Blu-Ray and DVD comes Horrible Bosses 2, a film that doesn’t suffer from the same repetitive plotting that The Hangover Part II did and mixes up the formula in the sense that the characters foolishly attempt a different crime. It would’ve been easy for the sequel to focus on them killing their new bosses. But thankfully that isn’t the case. In the film, our three heroes are now their own bosses, having designed a product and hoping to make their fortune off it. When they’re screwed over by a slimy businessman, they come up with a mad scheme to kidnap his son and hold him for a huge ransom pay-out. But, obviously, things don’t go to plan and hilarity ensues. 

For the most part, the guys still have great chemistry together. For those of you who don’t know or can’t remember, the heroes are played by Hollywood’s current go-to funny men; Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day. Jason Bateman again plays the sensible, serious one of the group – just as he did in Arrested Development, his job is to stare in disbelief at the other oddball characters and make sarcastic comments. Jason Sudeikis (We’re The Millers) and Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) are the juvenile and clumsy characters who bring the majority of the comedy to proceedings as they bounce off each other. The supporting cast is excellent, with newcomers Christoph Waltz, Chris Pine and Jonathan Banks alongside returning stars Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Jamie Foxx. Everyone seems to be having a good time.

But it’s not all fun and games. The first 20 minutes or so were very weak, with a particularly cringeworthy opening sequence involving a VERY dated and unoriginal joke that even felt old when Austin Powers did it. On top of that, the delivery style of some of the dialogue was irritating. Just like in the first film, Sudeikis and Day’s style is to mumble over each other which gets rather tedious. Whilst we’re on the subject of Day, he’s as annoying as ever for the first portion of the film. But like with all of his performances, you eventually learn to accept him and ignore his shortcomings – and hey, whenever I get angry at him, I remember his character Benny in The Lego Movie and all is forgiven. SPACESHIP!

The film brings nothing new to the table and is quite a predictable and unoriginal romp, right down to the obligatory use of The Heavy’s How You Like Me Now. But hey, most American comedies these days are the same. Nobody watches them for their artistic merit or intellectual entertainment. You watch them for the inappropriate humour and escapism (and dick jokes). Who cares if it isn’t a fresh, unique piece of cinema? It isn’t trying to be!

So, in conclusion, is it better than the first? I haven’t seen the first since its release, but I’m tempted to say yes. Horrible Bosses 2 made me laugh more than I expected, and more than I remember laughing at the first film. The cast are on pretty good form, the script is full of funny dialogue, the plot is decent enough…Look, at the end of the day Horrible Bosses 2 isn’t trying to win Oscars here. It knows what it is. It isn’t a good film. But it’s a good bit of fun. And sometimes, that is exactly what you need. I went in expecting to be angry and bored, I left with a lil’ smile on my face. Who can ask for more from films like this?

Horrible Bosses 2 pulls off the crime and gets 3/5.


Sam Love

Horrible Bosses 2 at CeX

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