Horrible Bosses 2 (2014) – reviewed by George

This is one of those films that is tons more fun for the actors making it than for the audiences watching it. And this is amply demonstrated by the out-takes behind the closing credits. They are easily the funniest bits in the movie. The movie itself is, I thought, a step or four down from the first film, which came out in 2011. The three stars return: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day managed in that first film to roundaboutly cause the death of one boss, Colin Farrell, the imprisonment of another, Kevin Spacey, and an escape from the third, Jennifer Aniston, the only female boss, by getting married.

This time they are putting a pet idea, the Shower Buddy, into start-up if they can find investors. They find Christolph Waltz, who screws them out of the company. The only way to stop him is to pay him what they owe him in three days. So naturally the three incompetent murderers decide to become kidnappers, kidnap Waltz’s son played by Chris Pine, and collect the money, then pay it back. And to no one’s surprise they screw it up madly.

I did not find this terribly funny, and I really got tired of hearing all three of them talk at once. That cacophony was really irritating, especially since you were still expected to understand what they said. I was not joined in this by the entire audience – a woman behind me to my right and a man behind me to my left almost never stopped laughing. Did the three leads all speak at once in the first film? I don’t remember, but if so I found it funny then. Maybe because Charlie Day was speaking at half the decibels he uses in this one.

Okay, I laughed at the talking-at-the-same-time stuff for 29 minutes; I laughed at the constant profanity, sex descriptions, and euphemisms for body parts for 76 minutes. Unfortunately the movie is 108 minutes long. Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx are the saving lights of this mess, and Jennifer Aniston certainly comes close to their level. I also liked Keegan-Michael Key and Kelly Stables as local TV hosts. But the funniest thing I heard in the theater was my date asking me a question as the lights came up. She had never heard of the first film, and had been under-entertained by this one, so she said, “Was there really a number one?”

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