By Chaz Lipp
Low filmmaker ambitions combine with low audience expectations for the thoroughly unremarkable, though not unfunny, Horrible Bosses 2. The main problem is that, unlike the 2011 original, this isn’t really about intolerably cruel bosses. However over the top the first one was, at its core was a relatable scenario. We’ve all had horrible bosses we couldn’t stand. Bosses 2 (available February 24 on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, and Digital HD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment) opens with returning characters Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) trying their hand at entrepreneurship.
The first half or so is crudely funny, with the newly operational Nick Kurt Dale Inc. (saying it aloud produces a “what did he say?” reaction, particularly from an African-American TV reporter played by Keegan-Michael Key) pushing the “Shower Buddy.” It’s basically a showerhead attachment that dispenses shampoo and conditioner, but business tycoon Burt Hanson (Christoph Waltz) believes it’ll catch the public’s fancy. He and his son/business partner Rex (Chris Pine) are looking to scam the painfully naïve Nick Kurt Dale Inc. out of their product. It leads to a convoluted kidnapping plot, inspired by co-conspirator Dean “MF” Jones (Jamie Foxx). The guys also inevitably cross paths with Dale’s ex-boss from part one, Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston). Nick crashing of Dr. Harris’ sex addition group meeting (he thinks it’s an AA meeting) is a raunchy comic highpoint.
The cast is clearly having a blast and everyone gets laughs, especially Bateman as the perpetually befuddled “smart one” of the main trio. New addition Chris Pine displays solid comic flair too. But instead of dealing with workplace situations and overbearing bosses, this one gets mired in action-based theatrics as the kidnapping plot thickens. Director Sean Anders should’ve left the car chases to the action flicks and concentrated on getting more laughs during the second half. With a cast this skilled, all he needed to do was let them continue riffing instead of getting too ambitious with the plot.
The new Blu-ray edition bulks up the theatrical cut’s 108 minutes to 116. The Blu-ray also contains a bunch of “One Liners You Didn’t See” (about 18 minutes worth, some of which are quite funny) and a 17-minute ‘making of’ called “Endless Laughter Guaranteed!” (If that’s true, I demand my money back.) A quintet of much shorter featurettes (each running less than three minutes) yields lesser returns.
Fans of the first film will want to pony up for Horrible Bosses 2. It gets off to a strong start, but by the end I doubt it’ll leave many viewers clamoring for a part three.
Horrible Bosses 2 Blu-ray Review – Images: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment