The follow-up to the 2011 hit comedy 'Horrible Bosses' reunites Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis as everyone's favorite working stiffs: Nick, Dale and Kurt. Jennifer Aniston ('We're the Millers'), and Oscar (R) winners Jamie Foxx ('Ray') and Kevin Spacey ('American Beauty,' 'The Usual Suspects') also reprise their 'Horrible Bosses' starring roles, while Chris Pine ('Star Trek: Into Darkness') and Oscar (R) winner Christoph Waltz ('Django Unchained,' 'Inglourious Basterds') star as new adversaries standing between the guys and their dreams of success.
There are three…count 'em…three former Oscar winners in the cast of 'Horrible Bosses 2', yet not one of them can save this movie from becoming one of the worst comedy releases (well, at least for a cast of this caliber) in recent memory. The movie is so lifeless and devoid of any genuine laughs that I wouldn't be shocked if the movie was shot without a script and Director Sean Anders just had an outline and asked his cast to make up jokes along the way. Granted, the first Horrible Bosses wasn't exactly a landmark of comedy genius, but it's pure gold compared to this movie.
This time around, Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) have decided to go into business for themselves, after inventing the 'Shower Buddy', a showerhead that mixes in the shampoo with the water while you're taking a shower. They get a meeting with Rex Hanson (Chris Pine) and his father Burt (Christoph Waltz), who wants to buy their idea from them. Burt gives the guys an order for 100,000 units, then double crosses them by cancelling the order when they have the product ready. Burt's plan is to let the boys go bankrupt and then buy out their company (and all the product) for pennies on the dollar. This is why you sign a contract, morons. Of course, if these guys had brains, there wouldn't be much of a story…not that there is anyway.
Burt's double-cross launches the guys into yet another discussion about offing him, but they decide that kidnapping and holding his son, Rex, hostage may be a better idea. Developing their plan leads to the opportunity to visit the actors from the first film, consisting of Kevin Spacey (in what is little more than a glorified cameo), Jamie Foxx, and Jennifer Aniston.
Aniston, of course, was one of the highlights from the original movie, and is the only bright spot of 'Horrible Bosses 2', once again playing a sex-addicted dentist who wants nothing more than to get into the boys' (any one of them, or all of them at once) pants. Granted, the performance that Aniston is required to give here is pretty raunchy, but it's one she excels at, and she manages to deliver the only real humor in the entire movie. Had she had a bigger role in the final product, 'Horrible Bosses 2' might have been a much better film.
While Aniston's performance is decent, the worst acting in the movie comes from Chris Pine, who really should avoid any comedies in the future (he was also god-awful in the box-office flop This Means War). Pine seems to have no comic timing whatsoever, and delivers a performance so over the top, it seems out of place even in a stupid movie like this one. He's (spoiler alert for those who are actually going to sit through this thing) the primary villain of this release, and certainly no replacement for Kevin Spacey, whom I hope at least got a decent check for agreeing to show up in this sequel.
Yes, 'Horrible Bosses 2' is a huge train wreck that is shockingly almost completely devoid of humor. Thankfully, its box-office take was about half of what the original movie's was, so hopefully we won't have to endure these characters a third time. In fact, take my advice and avoid this reunion. It's not worth your money or your time.
The Blu-Ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Horrible Bosses 2' arrives on home video in a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD combo pack. The eco-friendly Elite keepcase houses the two discs, with the dual-layer DVD on the inside left and the 50GB Blu-ray on the inside right. An insert contains the code for an UltraViolet copy of the movie. Both the DVD and the Blu-ray are front-loaded with trailers for 'Get Hard' and 'San Andreas', with the DVD having additional front-loaded trailers for 'Entourage', 'Focus', The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and Inherent Vice. The main menu has the typical Warner Bros. design, with a promotional photo of the main cast and menu selections running along the bottom of the screen.
The Blu-ray in this release is region-free.
'Horrible Bosses 2' was shot digitally using Arri Alexa equipment and gets a pretty decent transfer onto Blu-ray by Warners. The image is pretty detailed throughout, and black levels are overall pretty good and consistent. As with a lot of movies shot on Arri Alexa cams, things tend to get a little softer in scenes that take place indoors (or on obvious sets), while the outdoor stuff has better depth of image.
In terms of any defects, I didn't notice any issues with aliasing, banding, or other problematic glitches in the transfer. Fleshtones lean slightly toward the warm side of things, but not so much that they ever appear unnatural. Colors throughout are bright and vivid without being oversaturated. Overall, this is another nice transfer from the folks at Warner Bros.
The primary track here is a lossless English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio one, that really comes to life during the numerous soundtrack songs that are peppered throughout the movie, as well as during the big car chase that comes towards the end of the film. Dialogue is primarily all up front, and – sadly – not particularly well-balanced with the rest of the track, causing (once again) my biggest complaint to appear – the fact that the spoken word is frequently much lower than all the other sounds happening around it.
For a comedy, there's a lot going on with the soundtrack, with some nice directionality sprinkled throughout, as well as some LFE use – particularly during that car chase. There are also no apparent glitches with the audio (other than the balance problem), and viewers should be quite pleased with what they get here.
In addition to the English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, the theatrical version of the movie also includes 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks in Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Please note, however, that the extended cut of the movie only contains an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Subtitles are included (on both cuts of the movie) in English SDH, Spanish, and French.
The best thing I can say about 'Horrible Bosses 2' is at least it comes as advertised, as it certainly is a 'horrible' movie. The only bright spot in this disappointing sequel is Jennifer Aniston's return performance as a nymphomaniac dentist. However, that's not enough to recommend this almost completely unfunny title. Skip it.