There isn’t always a need for a sequel in comedies. Sometimes the one and done is just fine because the story was stretched to about the limit it could reach in the one outing. This was satirized in 22 Jump Street and it rings true with another sequel of a unbelievable hit, Horrible Bosses 2.
This sequel doesn’t have the sharp satire that the former had, but knows exactly that it is going down the same alley as it went before. Exchange bosses for two scheming, evil business men (Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz) and you have the gang of Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis, and Charlie Day back in the same situation as before: breaking the law in order to get what they want.
The film picks up where the last one left off with the gang deciding to quit their jobs and go into business for themselves. They create the “shower buddy” and look to have investors take an interest in it so they can produce it and make millions. This all happens when Bert (Waltz) and Rex (Pine) Hansen decide to take on the product and make an order for 100,000 units.
This all falls apart when Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudekis), and Dale (Day) go to celebrate and say that they’ve finished the order and Bert informs them that they are backing out of the order and taking their idea with it. This leads to the gang getting angry and deciding that they should get back in the criminal business and kidnap Rex in order to get money out of Bert.
While not much different than the plot of the first film (give or take a few points), the core of these films are still the impeccable chemistry between the three lead characters. That, and the added cog that is Chris Pine, creates an entertaining final product that never tries to be more than what it knows it is. It is fun to see the usual cool and collected Pine, who made a name for himself playing the re-invented version of Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, playing a crazier version of that persona, which includes him “Fight Clubbing” himself and going to insane degrees to help the gang earn the money.
While Pine doesn’t go as far with the role as he does in an earlier 2014 film, Joe Carnahan’s Stretch, it is still fun to see the actor cut loose and play crazy off of the hilarious improv of the three main actors. Waltz is underutilized, especially for an Oscar-winner and surprisingly very funny actor, as he shows up for a total of maybe 15 minutes during the more than an hour and half long feature.
But at the end of the day, the chemistry between the main three actors is what carries the film, and a few bizarre moments with Jennifer Aniston, makes worthy of another trip into this universe. Yes, it is cliched and sometimes it doesn’t work, but watching Bateman, Sudekis, and Day riff off one another is a treat in itself.
Horrible Bosses 2 never tries to be something incredible, but sticks to its principles and uses its strengths to their highest abilities (except for Waltz). Bateman, Sudekis, and Day are hilarious as usual and crazy showings by Pine and Aniston make this sequel unnecessary, but still a load of fun.