Now this is how you do an unnecessary, contrived sequel!
A couple weeks ago, The Farrelly Brothers rolled out Dumb and Dumber To, hoping that the nostalgia people felt for Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas would be enough for them to overlook the overall lack of quality that ended up being patched together and called a movie. It kind of worked, given that the film opened at No. 1 and did $38 million and change (US figures) out of the gate, but at the same time, it all felt forced.
After all – who makes a sequel 20 years later only to roll out lesser versions of the bits that worked so well in the first film?
Horrible Bosses 2 gets it.
Featuring the return of Nick, Kurt and Dale (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day, respectively), the sequel follows the trio on another unexpected voyage into being criminals. This time, rather than killing their menacing superiors, they’re out to kidnap the son (Chris Pine) of a distributing magnate (Christoph Waltz) who has screwed them over on a deal and left them bankrupt.
Yeah – that’s the premise. It’s a “you can see what happens next” setup if there ever was one, but you know what? It’s totally fine because no one is going to see Horrible Bosses 2 for intricate plots and deep commentaries on society dressed up as a movie. People want to see these three idiots screw things up the same way they turned out en masse to watch them make a mess out of killing their bosses three years ago.
The fact that the first film came out just three years ago helps this movie. The characters are still relatively fresh and because there haven’t been that many great comedies in the time since the first and second offering, getting a second serving of something that worked pretty well the first time around trumps taking a shot on any of the innumerable bad comedies on the horizon.
The main trio works really well together – they’re very different brands of funny and the interplay between all three clicks. Jumping into this ensemble was a great move for Pine, who is tied to a couple action series (Star Trek, Jack Ryan) and less than a month away from being Prince Charming in Into the Woods. He’s funnier than you’d initially imagine and showing that side will serve him well long term.
Jennifer Aniston gets shoe-horned into the mix as sex-crazed dentist Julia once more and though the plot device used to bring her into the fold is all kinds of forced, there is still something delicious about Aniston talking raw and playing someone is nothing like the wholesome good girl we fell in love with initially.
Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey return in their roles from the first picture, with Foxx once again tagging along with the bumbling trio, while Spacey is locked up after offing Colin Farrell in the original.
Horrible Bosses 2 is what you expect it to be – a continuation from where the first film left off with several of the same notes being struck. There are some solid new additions, not as many original hits (plus Aniston’s potty mouth isn’t a surprise), and generally a decent flick that delivers a few laughs.
It’s a “capitalize while we can” sequel and in that regard, it works.