New 'Horrible Bosses' movie isn't horrible
"Horrible Bosses 2," starring Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day, is the sequel we've all been waiting for. The movie has a few new and clever twists that make it not only more enjoyable than the first film, but a better movie overall.
The movie brings the audience back into the lives of everyone's favorite attempted murderers Dale (Day), Nick (Bateman) and Kurt (Sudeikis). Having not learned any real-life lessons from their murder debacle in the first film, the trio are pretty much the same idiots we know and love. Also returning to the cast are two of the last movie's horrible bosses: Jennifer Anniston, who plays Dr. Julia Harris, and Kevin Spacey as Dave Harkin.
We also see the addition of two new cast members, Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz, who make a lovely addition to the film. Waltz plays a wealthy business man and Pine portrays his son. Both actors seamlessly blend with the returning cast members to make the characters in "Horrible Bosses 2" more likable and funnier than ever.
Watching this movie was like a constant punch in the gut. I could not stop laughing. The three main actors are an unstoppable comedic combination whose improvised situational humor kept me more than entertained from beginning to end.
One noticeable contribution to the film was the change of director. The first film was directed by Seth Gordon, who directed the film "Identity Thief." "Horrible Bosses 2" was directed by Sean Anders ("Sex Drive," "Hot Tub Time Machine" and "We're the Millers"). You can see Anders' view is brought to life differently through the use of more special effects and tighter camera work.
In the first film, the angles and placement of the shots made it feel more like you were confined to seeing things through the eyes of only the three main characters. For example, when Day, Sudeikis and Bateman's characters are hiding/watching people, the audiences' view is confined to what the characters themselves can see.
In this next film, there are scenes that take you back and forth between what Nick, Dale and Kurt can see from their hiding spot and what is happening with the other characters. This directing style helps you become a little bit more familiar with these antagonists while maintaining the audience's understanding of Nick, Kurt and Dale's point of view.
In an interview with the three main cast members, Day had nothing but positive things to say about his new director.
"Anders walks a really good line of not completely reinventing it so you don't know what movie your watching and yet one that makes sense for the film to get a little more stylized," he said. "He definitely put a little more style into the second one, and it fits the story, so I think he did a really good job that way."
Day also commented on how enthusiastic the gang was to get a new member.
"We got to have a fourth musketeer," Day said. "Chris Pine brought a lot to the movie."
Another topic discussed with the cast was why a sequel was made. Was it prompted by the desire to make more money?
"There's definitely a business side of it," Day said, "but there's also a creative side. Does it make sense to do a second story? Jason (Bateman) and Jason (Sudeikis) and myself had a lot of lengthy conversations about what the second story could be, and we weren't going to do another movie if we couldn't find a story that, for us, made sense."
The combination of business and pleasure came through in the sequel.
"It made sense for the business, and we got to a place creatively where it made sense for us to want to do it," Day said.
The actors also talked about what they think the reaction will be to the second film. All three of them agreed that they expect people to be skeptical — as I was — but pleasantly surprised.
"I'm usually pretty objective, and as a viewer I really enjoyed this one even more than the first. I expect people to be pretty happy with this one," Bateman said.
Day and Sudeikis both agreed that there was a lot more to this film's story and acting than the first one, emphasizing that a lot of work went into creating a new concept.
"We certainly felt pressure amongst ourselves and from the fans of the first movie, but that pressure gets released the second we get to work and start making each other laugh," Sudeikis said.
The only negative criticism I had of the movie was that Jennifer Anniston's character was a bit too much for me at times. She takes her role as a sex addict very far, bringing it to a whole new level unseen in the first film. Even though she portrays her character well, it's a little bit raunchier comedy than what is seen throughout the rest of the film and therefore it stood out. There are plenty of people out there who would appreciate the type of humor this movie offers, but still not find her aggressive sexual comedy to their liking.
It was obvious these guys had a lot of fun on the set, and it is certainly reflected in their performances. Overall, this comedy was just what the doctor ordered. I would definitely recommend seeing "Horrible Bosses 2" when it comes out Nov. 26.
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @wjschliesmann.