Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses 2

2014, R, 108 min. Directed by Sean Anders. Starring Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Christoph Waltz, Chris Pine, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jonathan Banks, Lindsay Sloane, Keegan-Michael Key.

REVIEWED By William Goss, Fri., Nov. 28, 2014

Just as 2011’s Horrible Bosses turned common work-related frustrations into a fitfully funny wish-fulfillment scenario on behalf of average Joes everywhere, Horrible Bosses 2 seizes upon the idea of being one’s own boss at any cost and downgrades the criminal deeds involved from premeditated murder to mere kidnapping.

No longer burdened by their previous employers, Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudeikis), and Dale (Day) strike out on their own with a super-duper shower contraption. After producing enough units to satisfy the lucrative likes of Bert Hanson (Waltz), the trio is soon screwed out of the deal, and retaliate by holding for ransom Bert’s son, Rex (Pine), a victim more than willing to help pull one over on his overbearing pops.

Like the first film, Horrible Bosses 2 revels in crass slapstick and innuendo rather than foisting any measure of moral queasiness upon its audience, but when it comes to base-level laughs, the sequel delivers enough to sustain itself. Bateman remains the resigned straight man, Sudeikis the utter horndog, Day the energetic spaz, and their reliably manic chemistry is well-matched by Pine, a pretty face proving increasingly game for comic silliness between this and the recent Stretch.

Jamie Foxx returns as felon-turned-mentor Motherfucker Jones, as do the previously dastardly Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey (whose two-scene cameo practically duplicates Rob Riggle’s fleeting appearance in this summer’s 22 Jump Street), helping to maintain the illusion of consistency despite the switch in directors from Seth Gordon to Sean Anders (Sex Drive, That’s My Boy).

The humor ranges from situational gags to wordplay both clever and juvenile. Despite routine lapses into gay panic and the kind of dick-stroking shadowplay that was exhausted a decade ago by the Austin Powers franchise, there are strong laughs sprinkled throughout, culminating in an unexpectedly inspired climactic car chase. Horrible Bosses 2 works about as well as its predecessor, while similarly welshing on the premise’s potential for truly dark comedy. When considered in contrast to the anemic Dumb and Dumber To, though, it’s a more agreeably inane dose of shortsighted shenanigans.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Sean Anders Films
Instant Family
Adoption comedy is rocky but charming

Matthew Monagle, Nov. 16, 2018

Daddy's Home 2
The daddy's daddy crash Christmas in this unneeded sequel

Danielle White, Nov. 10, 2017

More by William Goss
Love & Mercy
Paul Dano anchors an ambitious vision of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson

June 5, 2015

Poltergeist
They're here … again. But why?

May 29, 2015

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Horrible Bosses 2, Sean Anders, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Christoph Waltz, Chris Pine, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jonathan Banks, Lindsay Sloane, Keegan-Michael Key

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle