*. There’s a scene in Horrible Bosses 2 where a police investigator tries to trick our three heroes into giving away their knowledge of a kidnapping. They manage to cloud the issue by all talking a bunch of nonsense at once, which baffles everyone. When the cop asks his partner to confirm what he thinks was said, the partner admits that he doesn’t really know given all the “yammering.”
*. That scene is representative of most of the rest of the movie. The characters spend a lot of time yammering, which is to say talking over top of each other. Not much of what they say is very funny, but the yammering itself is supposed to be.
*. It’s not a terrible movie, but it is a let down from the first Horrible Bosses, which was not a comedy classic. Kurt and Dale (Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day) seem to have shed significant IQ points and Dale in particular crosses the line into just being irritating most of the time. Nick (Jason Bateman) is again the overly earnest straight man.
*. The supporting cast are good, but their parts aren’t well written. Jennifer Aniston returns as a very raunchy sex addict with a strange fixation on foreskin. Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey don’t have anything new to say or do. Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine represent the dark side of the American dream. I guess the American dream is a joke now. A joke or a horror show.
*. The plot is very similar to the first film, with the three amigos getting in way over their heads trying to take down the rich and the powerful. Foxx offers some useless street advice but comes in handy in the end, as in the first film. Spacey yells and insults Nick, as in the first film. Aniston pursues Dale, as in the first film.
*. Aside from Day’s turn it’s all pretty easy to watch, even if nothing very funny happens. A lot of the humour is forcing material that’s no good to begin with. Gay jokes abound, and though I don’t object to these on moral or political grounds I tend to consider them low-hanging fruit. In any event, critics generally found the film distasteful and audiences didn’t seem much interested. The bloopers that run with the end credits were actually well worth watching in the first film. Here it’s just people messing up their lines and breaking into laughter. I think this is a series that’s already well played out, and I’m not looking forward to further instalments.