Granger on Movies: 'Horrible Bosses 2'
Published 7:41 am, Friday, December 5, 2014
Qualifying as one of the most idiotic, unnecessary sequels of the year, this action-comedy caper reunites Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day as the three beleaguered underlings who decided to kill their bosses in the raunchy original, released in 2011.
It's a shame that they didn't also bring back director Seth Gordon and screenwriters Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein. Instead, director Sean Anders partners with co-writer John Morris on what plays like a variation of O. Henry's classic "The Ransom of Red Chief." Previous Anders/Morris collaborations include "Dumb and Dumber To," "We're the Millers" and "Hot Tub Time Machine."
Tired of working for oppressive supervisors, Nick Hendrick (Bateman), Kurt Buckman (Sudeikis) and Dale Arbus (Day) have formed their own company built around a self-shampooing shower head invention called Shower Buddy. But they need a wealthy investor to manufacture and distribute their product. He appears in the form of formidable CEO Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz), who offers to bankroll their first 100,000 units for $3 million, only to back out of the deal and try to steal their business.
"I make new enemies every day," Hanson explains. "It's called business."
With no legal recourse, Nick, Kurt and Dale decide to kidnap Hanson's pompous playboy son Rex (Chris Pine), demanding $500,000 ransom, only to discover that Rex, who is a compulsive liar, hates his dad as much as they do. Once again, they seek advice from seedy characters played by Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey. And Jennifer Aniston reprises Dr. Julia Harris, the sexually rapacious dentist.
Problem is: it's not funny. Director Sean Anders obviously encouraged the actors to ad-lib, improvise and screech. As a result, much of the misogynistic dialogue is cringe-worthy, particularly the barrage of tasteless jokes about rape and race. And it all leads up to a formulaic car-chase finale.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Horrible Bosses 2" is a revenge fantasy 3, trolling for cheap, vulgar laughs.
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