“Horrible Bosses 2” returns with the same mischief making men that made the first film such a success. This time, though, they are planning a kidnapping in order to score some big bucks to save their business. The film banks on the same humor that led “Horrible Bosses” to be such a well-known favorite amongst fans, but it was almost too expected and not as different as it could have been. In other words, it was more of the same thing. Still, the leading men all have great chemistry and charisma together, and their character personalities really translate well on screen as staples in the comedy genre, leading this movie to be a worthy addition.
When Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) look for someone to invest in their invention, “Shower Buddy,” Rex Hanson (Chris Pine) offers to buy all rights to it, but the guys are not happy with that idea. Instead, Rex’s father Burt (Christoph Waltz) offers to put in an order for 100,000 units of the product, causing the three men to start up their business and begin manufacturing the item. Unfortunately, Burt cons the guys and decides to back out of the deal, leaving the trio penniless. In order to earn their money back, Kurt concocts an idea to kidnap Rex and hold him for ransom. As these three guys can rarely do anything right together, what follows is a series of mix-ups, snafus and twists along the way.
The main gist of the plot is somewhat similar to the film’s first installment, but instead of murder, it’s kidnapping. A lot of the same hijinks were to be expected, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. On the one hand, why mess with something that was such a success? On the other, there’s little new that is offered in “Horrible Bosses 2.” The return of Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston) as sexually driven dentist was nice to see, and her new interaction with Nick was enjoyable to watch during a sex addict group meeting. Jamie Foxx returns as well as “Motherf*ker” Jones and offers the same shoddy advice to the guys, while Kevin Spacey does a minor bit as David Harken, offering yet again nothing new or exciting. We’re left with the same type of jokes with just slightly racier punchlines, and a lot of the same humor.
The glimmer of hope in this film is the ever lovable Charlie Day (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) portraying the anxious and eager Dale. The character holds the same endearing uneasiness as is seen in the film’s opening scene, reminding viewers just what was so enjoyable about the first installment. Day’s ability to go there and express his boisterous comedic style makes him such a great addition to the franchise, penning him as an obvious fan favorite. The other front men also do a great job imbuing the personalities of their characters, but Day steals the show once again, which doesn’t come as a surprise.
Overall, because the film basically did exactly what “Horrible Bosses” did, there were little surprises. The addition of Chris Pine was fun in parts, but didn’t bring as much excitement or dynamics to the plot as it could have. The same humor was able to muster up enough laughs to keep the audience involved, but it wasn’t really inventive enough. Still, it was enjoyable if only because the first installment was, and because the chemistry between Day, Bateman, and Sudeikis really is pleasing to watch. “Horrible Bosses 2” straddles that line of good and bad a little too close, but manages to stay in a decent lane. The film has Charlie Day to thank for making it a little less horrible.
Final grade? B-