Horrible Bosses 2

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Nick Hendricks, Dale Arbus, and Kurt Buckman decide to start their own business after tiring of working for ungrateful bosses. Their idea is a car-wash-inspired shower head called the “Shower Buddy”. They have trouble finding investors until they are approached by Bert Hanson and his son Rex. Bert admires their commitment to manufacturing the product themselves, while Rex prefers to outsource to China, and agrees to invest if they can make 100,000 units. Taking out a business loan, the three rent a warehouse, hire employees, and manage to produce their output. However, Bert backs out of their deal at the last minute, claiming that he never signed an agreement, and he plans on taking their inventory in foreclosure and selling them (renamed the “Shower Pal”) himself, while leaving the three in $500,000 debt with their outstanding loan.

Seeking financial advice, Nick, Dale, and Kurt visit Nick’s old boss, Dave Harken, in prison, who says the three have no feasible legal options to recover their losses. The three then resolve to kidnap Rex and hold him for ransom. They seek the help of “Motherfucker” Jones, who says the best way to kidnap someone who knows them is to keep the victim unconscious for the duration of the kidnapping. The three create a ransom note asking for $500,000 and go to the office of Dale’s old boss, Dr. Julia Harris, to steal a tank of nitrous oxide. While there, Kurt and Dale are almost caught by Julia’s sex addiction group meeting; after the group leaves, Nick has sex with Julia, providing the distraction that allows Dale and Kurt to escape the building. The trio goes to Rex’s house, but while they hide in the closet, Dale accidentally turns on the tank and they pass out. When they wake up in the morning, they find Rex gone.

When they arrive back at the warehouse, they find Rex tied up in the trunk of their car. Rex gets out and reveals he found them hiding in his closet, but decided to stage his own kidnapping with them due to his strained relationship with his dad. Rex sent the ransom note to his dad and increased the ransom to $5 million. The three are uncertain of Rex’s plan, but Rex threatens to go to the police if they back out. They call Bert to inform him of Rex’s kidnapping, threatening to kill Rex if Bert calls the cops. However, the police, led by Detective Hatcher, subsequently arrive at their warehouse to question Nick, Dale, and Kurt due to their involvement with Bert. When the police leave, Rex breaks down, knowing Bert cares more about his money than his son. Now sympathetic to Rex, the trio agrees to work with him in the fake kidnapping, and all four devise a plan to outsmart the police and take the ransom money, utilizing untraceable phones, a basement garage to block out any tracking signal, and Kurt disguising himself as Bert.

While the plan is in motion, Nick, Dale, and Kurt find that Kurt left Bert his own phone instead of the untraceable one. They nevertheless call Bert on Kurt’s phone to give him the instructions. Before they leave, Julia arrives at their hotel room and demands to sleep with Dale or else she will report them for breaking into her office. Dale’s wife Stacy, whom Dale has three daughters with, arrives, and believing Dale is cheating on her with Julia, storms off. Dale angrily locks Julia in the bathroom so the three can leave. In the basement garage, Nick, Dale, and Kurt, wearing masks, tell Bert to give back the cell phone. Bert is killed by Rex, who reveals that, after seeing that his father did not care about him, he decided to kill Bert and frame Nick, Dale, and Kurt in order to inherit the family business. Rex forces Kurt to switch pants as Rex’s pants have Bert’s blood on them.

As the trio are about to be cornered by the police, Jones arrives, as he anticipated that the three would be betrayed and killed and was seeking to claim the ransom money for himself. He attempts to help them get back to the warehouse where Rex is supposed to be tied up, with the police chasing them, before Rex does so they can prove their innocence. When they get back to the warehouse, Jones escapes with the money and the police arrive to find Rex tied up. Before the police arrest Nick, Dale, and Kurt, Kurt’s phone rings in Rex’s pocket, and the police recognize the ringtone as the same phone that was left to Bert by the kidnappers. Rex tries to claim the phone is his, but when Hatcher asks why Rex did not bother to call the police if he had a phone, Rex takes Hatcher hostage. Dale attempts to attack Rex, but Rex shoots him, which distracts Rex long enough for Hatcher to subdue him.

A few days later, Dale wakes up to find out that the three did get in trouble, but because Dale helped save Hatcher’s life, the police dropped the charges. He also finds out that Julia helped make amends with Stacy, although she hints at having had sex with him during his coma and promises to have sex with his wife as well. In the aftermath, their business goes into foreclosure, but is subsequently purchased by Harken in prison, who allows the three of them to stay employed. Jones, meanwhile, uses the ransom money to invest in Pinkberry

REVIEW:

What do you do when you make a small film that turns out to be an unsuspected success? Of course you quickly churn out a sequel, because that is how business is done in Hollywood these days. Whether audiences want it or not, we get remakes, reboots, sequels, and prequels, just so studio execs can keep their billion dollar lifestyles. Unfortunately, Horrible Bosses 2 is one of those films that should not have been made, at least not as quickly.

What is this about?

In a renewed attempt to escape their employers’ abuses, the oppressed heroes of Horrible Bosses open a business together. When a slippery investor torpedoes their dream, the boys strike back by kidnapping his son.

What did I like?

Voice of reason. In almost every movie he is in, Jason Bateman plays a no-nonsense, stick in the mud character that is usually the least likable of the cast, or at least one of the least liked. There are times, though, that those same characteristics can work to his advantage. Take for instance this role in which he is paired with two morons, as is said about his partners multiple times throughout the film. Bateman’s character isn’t necessarily the brains behind the operation, but he is the voice of reason, keeping everyone grounded. I shudder to think of where this might have gone had he not been there.

In the cards. Reprising his role from the first Horrible Bosses, Kevin Spacey appears in a couple of quick scenes. I wager these were all filmed the same day when he wasn’t on set for House of Cards. Spacey knocks it out of the park in what may very well have been the performance of the film. He has a Hannibal Lecter type of sophistication about him, mixed with a dose of crazy, thrown in what random bits and pieces that Spacey came up with. It was a joy to watch, especially in the epilogue, but I won’t spoil that.

She can be my dentist. Whew! Jennifer Aniston with dark hair is just…there are no words! Brad Pitt, what were you thinking? Do you not get the picture that you downgraded to that big lipped skeleton you’re traipsing around the world with adopting kids? Anyway, Aniston is not just tasty eye candy, but her character is a little more fleshed out, as we learn she has a sex addiction, which explains a lot of her actions from the first film. Also, she has a collection and needs Charlie Day’s character to sleep with her so that she can complete it. Yeah, she’s still a bit psycho, and the audience loves her for it!

What didn’t I like?

Yammering. I mentioned earlier how Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis’ characters were called morons for a good part of the film. If I recall from the original, that is no change for Day’s character, but Sudeikis was a bit more competent. What happened that turned him into a grown up frat boy, for lack of a better term, I wonder? Why is it that he and Day constantly yammer on about random stuff and the most inopportune moments? Is this supposed to be funny?

Waltz from days gone by. Christoph Waltz has not had a bad performance. Even in bad movies like The Green Hornet, he seems to be a bright spot. That record will not be besmirched by this film, though it is close. I have issue with the way Waltz was portrayed. Obviously, he has a very thick German accent. It is what has made him such a hot commodity. I’m not sure if he was supposed to have been covering it up for this character, or playing someone who was making an attempt to cover up where they were from. Also, this look…it wouldn’t have bothered me, except every time he was on screen, I felt like I was back in 6th grade with my beginning band director, Mr. Ramsey. I wonder if I should tell him that he resembles Christoph Waltz in disguise.

Length. I feel as if this film went on way too long. This is a comedy, there is no need for it to go much past an hour and a half. Truth be told, I lost interest about 10 minutes or so into the picture, and didn’t really come back until the security tapes of Aniston and Bateman were on display. What would I cut to make this shorter? Perhaps cut down the chase scene. This is a comedy, not an action comedy. No need for all that. I’d also cut out all the rigmarole in the last act. It just seemed as if they were talking in circles, which is mostly what this film does, now that I think about it.

Everything that Horrible Bosses was, Horrible Bosses 2 isn’t. This film isn’t funny, charming, witty, innovative, interesting, or anything. It is one of those sequels where the studio noticed that something they just threw out to the wolves, so to speak, made a lot of money, so they want even more. This caused the writers to half ass throw together a script, then we get this rushed product that is far inferior to its predecessor. I liken it to this…when you put toast in the toaster and pull it out before it is toasted, you’ll have somewhat toasted bread, but it won’t be full toast. This film was that partly toasted bread, not quite toast. I don’t have much to say on the positive side for this film, I’m afraid so, as you can just about guess, this is not getting a recommendation from me. You’d be better served torturing your own boss like they did in the first film.

2 out of 5 stars

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