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The Cast of "Horrible Bosses 2"

The Cast of “Horrible Bosses 2”

What’s it About?

Dale, Kurt and Nick decide to start their own business but things don’t go as planned because of a slick investor, prompting the trio to pull off a harebrained and misguided kidnapping scheme.

“Horrible Bosses 2”

Directed by Sean Anders

By Vic

There are times when I question the motivation behind the inclusion of a gag reel at the end credits of some comedies. What does it actually mean or say about the film that precedes it? Wouldn’t a gag reel suffice, say, on the bonus features section of a dvd or blu ray? For example, on the dvd of “Analyze This,” there is a very funny gag reel, in the extras features, that feels like a very cool bonus, since the actual film was hilarious and enjoyable all on it’s own. Sort of an “extra bit” of fun and comedy to add to all of the frivolity.

Then afterwards, we fast forward to other comedies, that all seem to have gag reels during the end credits. It has been quite hit or miss with the majority of them, but unfortunately,  it has become a tired and exhaustive tactic. It usually is a sign, that whatever came before, was just an exercise in “meh.” “Horrible Bosses 2” is that kind of film.  We end up chuckling and grinning much more during the gag reel than at anything that we witnessed during the film’s actual running time.

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Directed by Sean Anders  (who penned “We’re The Millers”), this  latest film and comedy is the inevitable follow up to the first “Horrible Bosses,” which was directed by Seth Gordon. This go around, HB2 manages to fall deeper into a desperate mire of clunkiness, stupidity and mind numbing goofiness that makes the previous movie seem like a masterpiece in comparison. Granted, the first manages to tap into the zeitgeist of those that can relate to having a boss from hell. But, I am not very sure what this present film is trying to tap into at all.

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The plot is pretty bare bones and I will keep this brief: 3 years later, the fellas (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis and Charlie Day), trying to buckle down and get serious, invent a nifty shampoo / shower machine. Looking for backers (after a disastrous appearance on live tv), they are approached by a Gazillionaire Tycoon named Burt (Christoph Waltz of Django Unchained). After blowing the original deal with Burt’s son, Rex (Chris Pine of Star Trek), they finally do business with Burt but eventually get shafted and the rug pulled out from under them by Burt, who had manipulated the deal to fail so he can get his grubby hands on the company that Nick, Dale and Kurt had founded.

Then, throw in a convoluted revenge / kidnapping plot involving Rex,  and we are off to the races. The fellas are definitely energetic here, but the actual jokes and timing are blown by hysterically over the top improv (that has virtually everyone shouting over one another) scenes and generic slapstick antics (the closet / laughing gas scene comes to mind) that merely ignites a chuckle or grin but not importantly, laughs.

The kidnapping plot is just too routine and has been done to death in so many other movies for it to appear or seem fresh or original. Too bad because the movie did have a passable first act with the guys setting up their own company and production factory along with employees. Unfortunately, there is no more fun on the horizon as the movie just sinks into comedic tedium.

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Jennifer Anniston and Jame Foxx return and are pretty much wasted in HB2. Aniston shows some sexy spunkiness and Foxx has that urban bad guy with a soft heart vibe down pat. But it is more of the same as the movies stumbles along trying to remain  hip and fill it’s quota of vulgar, boorish and crude hi-jinks. Too bad that the movie is extremely lazy as it hits every by the book mark.

The film manages to just slightly appear a bit witty on the surface but instead, Anders’ film succeeds in only banging us over the head with shenanigans and buffoonery right out of some Three Stooges short. Also, the film’s tired dynamics between Pine and Waltz (there is a remote father/son plot) is just an eye rolling annoyance.

For me, what only worked, is that the guys were able to re-unite and that there was a promise of a good movie here but there is are too many blockhead exchanges that go nowhere. There are also way too many scenes of the gang going on bone-headed tirades that take away from the enjoyment as every scene of derision and mockery just falls flat. I am sure, though, that many will find the movie right up their alley, especially if expectations are tempered going in. Fans of the first will most likely enjoy this installment.  (sorry, to the fans, if it seems I am beating up on this one).

Well, it is possible that you may have heard this before, but I must re-iterate that the movie just feels like an overlong  SNL skit that went terribly wrong. I do applaud the cast for keeping their chin up and giving robust and breezy performances in the face of  a laborious and banal plot for a sequel that should have at least repeated (or emulated) some of the dynamics that made the first enjoyable for many.

Honestly, I did laugh a bit here and there and the movie is a time waster in the purest form but I left the movie a bit exhausted after witnessing one to many headache inducing screaming matches.

Oh well, at least there is that gag reel

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