Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Horrible Bosses 2

The American Dream is still alive and kicking among Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) despite their less-than-smooth attempts to get one over their superiors in the original Horrible Bosses. In this second outing they quit their jobs to start their own business making and selling showers that release water and soap simultaneously, determined to build and manufacture the materials themselves in old-fashioned entrepreneurial American spirit.

Anyone hoping for a satire on the contemporary US economy, however, will be left disappointed. While the gags in these early scenes involving the trio’s efforts to get their business up and running and their dealings with Christoph Waltz’s ruthless investor relate directly to modern day business, their subsequent decision to embark on another hair-brained criminal revenge scheme  - this time a kidnapping rather than murder - veers the material away from satirical and towards farce.

But anyone hoping for the kind of broad humour that the first film delivered will laugh frequently and leave satisfied. The kidnapping plot may be far from original, but it supplies a basic structure for writer and director Sean Anders to fit plenty of gags and set-ups, and for the leading trio of Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day to bounce off each other.

The chemistry between these three is what pulls the film through some of its weaker material. Anyone who has seen It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will know about the twitchy, unstable qualities of Charlie Day’s hilarious comic acting, and once again he’s the standout performer in a very talented cast full of alumni from the likes of Arrested Development, Modern Family and Friends.

Despite the phallocentrism of the leads this isn't quite the testosterone-fueled outing of a Judd Apatow movie or an Adam Sandler vehicle, although things do revert to stereotype whenever a character who isn’t a white male is on screen. Some of the material is problematic and resorts to the occasionally sexist/racist lowest common denominator, but for the most part this is a consistently funny sequel. 


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