It seems that the sequel syndrome may have taken another victim. Whereas 22 Jump Street (http://wp.me/p4GEiZ-X) tackled the issue head-on, Horrible Bosses 2 seemingly embraced its repetition. This isn’t a film that has tried particularly hard to be anything more than a fun, entertaining sequel. HB2 overtly draws all of its charm from the first. This isn’t a particularly negative thing, but it’s also not a positive.
Frankly, HB2 doesn’t have the same charm as its predecessor. Though its premise is slightly different, it fails to be new or relevant enough to fully engage. Whilst Day, Sudekis and Bateman are entertaining, their truly funny moments are too infrequent to cover up a striking lack of jokes. I got a few laughs out of the stretched 108 minute run time, but the majority of the written ‘jokes’ were disappointingly aimed at either race or sex, including a lengthy exchange about Bateman being a homosexual. On several occasions the jokes were either of questionable taste, or simply just not funny.
If this was Horrible Bosses, the film would’ve been saved from mediocrity by the fresh cast employed. Spacey, Farrell and Aniston were excellent comedic opposites to their on-screen employees, and though Spacey, Aniston and the hustlin’ Jamie Foxx return, their charm does not. Spacey’s sporadic scenes could have been filmed in the time Aniston took for lunch, whilst Aniston’s sex queen is almost cringe-worthy this time round. Foxx is less average, putting in a decent showing.
A lot of the film’s ambition however, seems to have been put into what the two new additions could add to the mix. Foxx’s Django co-star Christoph Waltz is rightly the star attraction in this odd bunch, whilst this generation’s James T. Kirk, Chris Pine, is meant to bring whatever it is that Chris Pine is meant to bring. Unfortunately for all of us audience members, neither shines.
Similar to Kevin Spacey’s role, this time it would have taken to film Waltz’s scenes would have been minimal. He is only seen in a handful of locations, and seems decidedly uninterested in his role. His character is little more than a ‘business Christoph Waltz’ and because of this, it seems like little effort has been put in to make the character anything more than passable. Waltz’s character is the film’s biggest disappointment.
Pine has more screen time and doles out a trademark Pine performance: he is cool, cocky, kind of suave and mostly average.
Horrible Bosses 2 feels like a lengthy episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia, but worse. It seemed more like a film that I’d have on in the background whilst I played Football Manager rather than one I’d pay to see on the big screen. Charlie Day was amusing though.