Rotten Tomatoes – 36%
We can pretty much settle on this and Interstellar for best picture nominees.
I am wholeheartedly kidding. Just as Horrible Bosses was brilliantly, stupidly funny, Horrible Bosses 2 serves up some brilliantly stupid laughs… er… too? Gold star for wordplay. Not particularly quotable or special in any way, HB2 was and will no doubt continue to be an entertaining movie to watch when it inevitably hits smaller screens – just as the original was and continues to be. The actors seem to embrace the blunt dumbness and run with it, clearly knowing they are taking part in some good, dumb fun (and making a pretty penny).
Should I pay to see it?
Probably not. Movies like either Horrible Bosses may very well be a worthy addition to a DVD/Blu-Ray collection were it not for the fact that they will pop up all over television and cheaply-if-not-freely down the road. The movie was very, very entertaining – just not particularly necessary to see on a big screen. The ‘plot’ is nonsense and an amusingly absurdist take on more serious crime films. The story works essentially to put the three characters in situations to bicker, which is fine because they bicker hilariously. There are some very well-done scenes, in particular an imagined crime vs. how the crime actually plays out (YOU LOOK LIKE MARK TWAIN!), and once again Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey gamely accept their paychecks to ham it up. On top of the holdovers, Chris Pine & Christoph Waltz provide additional zaniness as the new father/son ‘bosses.’ Pine in particular has impressed me with his comedic chops (see my praise of his weirdo in Stretch) and he ping-pongs around with the three main idiots, egging on their shenanigans.
Could I watch it with a date?
Yes, but that doesn’t mean this is the type of movie to seek out with a date. Entertaining, funny and with a well-liked cast, you could probably pick more appropriate fare for going out. That said, when this inevitably pops up on the TV in the future you can happily kick back on the couch with your bae and laugh your tails off.
So why or how can such a dumb movie with a thin plot be so fun? Those three idiots. Jason Bateman basically plays Michael Bluth, Charlie Day plays ‘Charlie,’ and Jason Sudekis continues to steadily make a career playing versions of the hilariously lovable asshole. None of the actors in the movie particularly has to stretch themselves for the roles they inhabit, though, again, Chris Pine does do a good job playing a nut and the ‘bosses’ play up their roles with appropriate zeal for a no doubt nifty dollar-per-screentime paycheck. The main trio clearly enjoy hanging out and making fun of one another, as the quips and asides continue to brilliantly fill in a hilarious chemistry (further evidence of how much fun these movies must be to make comes in the bloopers during the credits) and fun, rapid fire dialogue. Charlie Day should get old. He does not. He’s just awesome. Squeaky, dim and excitable he continues his streak of just being funny standing there. Sudekis makes one charming ass and Bateman can play a great stiff, but Day has truly mastered the manic energy inside himself, as every note of his freakouts, every slack-jawed pause for lack of understanding, every tacked-on explination to the chagrin of his cohorts elicits at least a chuckle.
The whole crew recognizes the strength of both this movie and its predecessor lies in the easy, believable relationship between Sudekis’ Kurt, Day’s Dale and Bateman’s Nick (or NickKurtDale, as they dub the company… go ahead, say it quickly…). With a screwball plot (and that’s being kind), the movie works only because the trio clicks. Every one liner, every normally groan-worthy joke, hits that much better because the actors are clearly having a good time getting paid to be ridiculous with one another. With their experience on popular television shows (and very funny, well written shows at that), I will credit the actors for filling in what in other hands could be a far less enjoyable movie.
Could I watch it with my mother?
No. While funny, some of the jokes are not the kind you want to chuckle over with momma. Those behind the film (I have hesitated using that word, as HB2 is better described as well-woven skits tied together) have found a sweet spot in the R-rated comedy, an achievement itself. While they probably skew male 18-35 fairly heavily, what with sexual innuendo and buddy-on-buddy burns, anyone with a saltier sense of humor can appreciate the jokes. A great example? Jennifer Aniston’s sex addict meeting as the gentlemen attempt a heist. Thinking he has been trapped in an AA meeting, Bateman shares more than he intended (or realized), with his buddies laughing as they watch him talk about ‘double-barrel action.’ Yeah. I don’t know about you, but while I think the scene is hilarious and GWW momma has a good sense of humor, I don’t really feel like watching such zings with my mother. It could be uncomfortable. Sometimes it is best not to open that door of how dudes really act in groups of friends. Although Charlie Day screaming about how F*&%^$g much he loves Sandra Bullock – as the group discusses crime plans/the plot of Speed – should be funny to just about anyone.
Horrible Bosses 2 will be up for no awards. However you should probably ignore other reviews – I truly question what some people expect when they watch movies. This is 1 hour & 48 minutes of dumb, often juvenile, sometimes slapstick, generally amusing fare with that dark underbelly (the guys’ plots are VERY illegal, you know). If you, as the GWW brothers did, are looking for some goofy fun some weekend afternoon, the movie is worth a trip to your cinema. Otherwise, sit back and relax – FX will be rerunning this constantly and it will no doubt be available for $5 soon enough, a staple of solid (if dumb), raunchily clever adult comedy collections. Very funny, but not timeless. The team has not quite reached that Adam McKay/Will Ferrell level of sheer idiotic brilliance, but as buddy comedies for the older set the movies passes my grade. You will laugh. Just don’t be a weenie, know what you’re getting into.