It seems that within certain Hollywood circles they believe that if something isn’t broken you keep rehashing it until it is. Such is the case with the imaginatively entitled Horrible Bosses 2 (2014), the sequel to the smash hit Horrible Bosses (2011). Starring the original’s main cast members Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day and Jennifer Aniston, but this time written and directed by Sean Anders, any thoughts that this might be an attempt at sophisticated humour can go straight out the window.
After trying previously without success to kill off the bosses who made their working lives hell, Nick (Bateman), Curt (Sudeikis) and Dale (Day) decide to make it in the world of business on their own. However, after being double crossed by international tycoon Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) and his spoilt brat son Rex (Chris Pine), the boys are forced to take drastic action in order to win back what is rightfully theirs. Encountering a number of old adversaries along the way – including Dale’s sex mad ex-boss Julia (Aniston) and the corrupt Dave Harkin (Kevin Spacey) – the trio soon discover that being honest is seldom the best way to get a head in business.
I feel I ought to say something more about the film as a whole. However if you have seen the original – and only those who have, are likely to want to watch this follow-up – there is really nothing new here, being as it is more or less a repeat of what went before.
The real focus of attention here though, as with any film in which she appears, is Jennifer Aniston. Clearly she likes working with Sean Anders, having recently starred for him in We’re the Millers (2013). She is also increasingly appearing in what she clearly believes to be ‘risqué’ comedies. Now for the rest of the cast in this somewhat suspect production you would expect little else. Bateman, Sudeikis and Day have made careers starring in none-too-subtle humorous productions with such suggestive titles as Love Thy Neighbour (2005), The Break-up (2006) and A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (2011). Aniston however, though also featuring in a number of such films – some with her Horrible Bosses’s co-stars – is, one always feels, capable of better.
Now, like most of the actors who appear in this genre, Aniston can do this kind of thing in her sleep. However there is something sad about a woman fast approaching middle age, who sees fit to reduce herself to expletive ridden, sexualised humour. Men can get away with this kind of thing for most of their lives. It seems however – and this is in no way meant as prejudiced – which sits uncomfortably with women appearing in this genre, particularly when, like everyone’s favourite ex-Friend, they are an accomplished and talented actor when given the right material. Aniston, who is being applauded and talked of for a possible Oscar nomination for her role in the upcoming drama Cake (2014), should perhaps be advised to start being more selective in the roles she accepts if she really wants the industry and audiences alike to take her seriously.
If you take the opening statement of my critique seriously, it is more than likely that the team behind this film franchise will try and squeeze another few features out of its somewhat limited plot-line, before they decide to force it into retirement. All you can hope for after seeing this particular outing, is that that time is not too far off.
Genre: Comedy Distributor:Warner Bros Rating: 15 Release Date: 28th November 2014 (UK) Director: Sean Anders Cast: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Jennifer Anniston, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz