Sometimes once is enough and so it is with “Horrible Bosses 2.” The pained expression that Jason Bateman wears throughout most of the movie says it all…it’s almost as if he is in the audience watching the annoying performances of Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis. Directed by Sean Anders with screenplay and story by Anders, John Morris, Jonathan M. Goldstein, John Francis Daley and Michael Markowitz, “Horrible Bosses 2” picks up where the first one leaves off.
With former bosses either dead, in prison or seeking help for addiction, Nick (Jason Bateman), (Kurt) Jason Sudeikis and Dale (Charlie Day) have formed a company and are looking for investors to bring their invention, the “Shower Buddy,” to market. When they are swindled by investor Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz), the trio resorts to drastic measures—the kidnapping of Hanson’s son, Rex (Chris Pine), who becomes a very willing victim. Along the way, the three come into contact with Dale’s former dental boss, Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston), and Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), Nick’s former boss now residing in prison. And for old time’s sake, they once again go to Dean “MF” Jones (Jamie Foxx) for advice who surprisingly provides sound counsel.
The problem with “Horrible Bosses” isn’t that it’s dumb or unfunny. The film does have some very amusing moments, with the emphasis on some. The issue is that there just isn’t enough there, there. Thus we are left with the never-ending Greek chorus of Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis spouting the most imbecilic conversation imaginable. After half an hour of this you’re ready to charge the screen shouting, “STOP IT!! ENOUGH ALREADY!” Jason Bateman is left out of most of this nonsensical dialogue and he’s slightly the better for it. But that begs the question; does he really need the money this badly to do a sequel as bad as this one? He looks like he’s swallowed a lemon for most of the movie. The film’s two saving graces are Christoph Waltz and most especially, Chris Pine. Waltz makes for a terrific villainous father and businessman. Pine is a complete surprise as a comedic actor. He seems as if he was born to do comedies, he is that good.
In the end, nothing or no one can really save “Horrible Bosses 2.” To see really funny, clever movies about terrible bosses, save your money and seek out “Swimming with the Sharks,” with an evil Kevin Spacey or Michael Caine’s “A Shock to the System” to learn how to really take care of a bad boss.
1 ½ nuggets out of 4