Sunday, 30 November 2014

Review: Horrible Bosses 2

World of Blackout Film Review

Horrible Bosses 2 Poster

Horrible Bosses 2
Cert: 15 / 108 mins / Dir. Sean Anders
WoB Rating: 5/7

It's difficult to imagine the situation which prompted a sequel to 2011's Horrible Bosses being commissioned, although it's probably a safe bet to guess that the meeting didn't include the phrases "surprise hit" or "runaway success". The original did, by all accounts, provide a reasonable return both financially and critically, but was never going to set the entertainment industry on fire. So why not do it again, right? That's how the business works?

Well, whether it's the change of director or the non-change of direction, Sean Anders' 2014 sequel has come in for something of a kicking (from critics, at least) in its opening weekend, which seems a little unfair. Sure, the plot is more like a series of weakly connected sketches, some of which work better than others; sure, that plot explains itself so heavy-handedly in the first twenty minutes that it doesn't have to do any more expository work until the final reel; sure, a lot of the (clearly) improvised dialogue leaves you thinking '…this is the take they went with?'; sure, there's a clear line of good-taste which Jennifer Aniston's sex-addicted dentist Julia frequently crosses, as if daring herself to be as gross as possible rather than as funny as possible; but in all honesty, there are few insults you can fling at this film which wouldn't be equally deserving of its predecessor.

The day is saved by Jason Bateman, not doing anything new, but certainly doing what he does best. His resigned exasperation at the moronity of those around him being his calling card as a comedic actor. Similarly on good form are Jason Sudekis, Charlie Day, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey. Special props have to go to Chris Pine, demonstrating once again that his talent for comedy far outweighs those of action or drama. And if that list seems a little light on the ladies' names, that's because the film is too; Aniston is pretty much it. Although I doubt whether the film would have been any better for more female characters, it might have been nice to have given it the chance, at least.

But y'know what? I probably laughed far more than I should have throughout the film. I can't gauge audience reaction since I was at a private screening*1, but Horrible Bosses 2 never tries to be anything more than a largely unnecessary, morally-questionable farce-comedy. And in that at least, it succeeds.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
That's where we're at, yeah…

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Mostly, although many of the scenes end up driving into an improvisational cul-de-sac.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Oh, probably.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
DVD tops, if I'm being honest.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Not at all.

Will I watch it again?
I can't envision me seeking it out, but I know it'll be good for a chuckle in the right company.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
Erm, there's a boot-shot? Actually, there are two boot-shots. Which is over-egging the pudding somewhat

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
…see you for HB3?

*1 By which I mean that I was the only person who wanted to see Horrible Bosses 2 at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon. By the time you factor in my Unlimited card, my local Cineworld were basically setting aside Screen 5 (the big screen) for 2+ hours whilst looking at the profit on an already-discounted coffee. Ouch.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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