Monday, December 1, 2014


Release date (India):
November 28, 2014
Sean Anders

Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Chris Pine, Kevin Spacey, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx

This review is not against sex comedies.

Now that we’ve clarified that right at the start, let’s point out the real issue with Horrible Bosses 2: lazy writing and tired ‘jokes’. Take for example that early scene with two men in a shower cubicle made of translucent material. One is on his knees fixing bathroom equipment, but what we see outside in silhouette is the appearance of him performing fellatio on the other guy. It’s a device as old as the Himalayas, like shadow play between two characters suggesting intercourse of some sort when in fact the persons involved are doing something thoroughly mundane. C’mon, even Indra Kumar’s Grand Masti delivered a similar cliché last year!

For the most part, Horrible Bosses 2 feels like it’s written by a particularly immature, unoriginal pre-teen. Arrested Development would have been a good title for the story of that writer, except that that name is already taken by the TV show starring Jason Bateman who is one of two primary reasons why I opted to see this film in the first place. The other: Jennifer Aniston.

Bateman played a loveable – and extremely sweet-looking – teenager in the 1980s American teleserial The Hogan Family. He stood out back then too for his nice-guy charm. Three decades later, that aura is still intact, and to be fair, his character in this film gets the least of the crass lines mouthed by the lead cast.

Jen Aniston, of course, is Jen Aniston. She’s so charismatic and adorable that I even watched the very drab Meet The Millers in 2013, because she who played Rachel in Friends was that film’s heroine. It is tragic then to see her helming possibly the most low-brow conversation of HB2’s many low-brow conversations, involving a detailed, anatomically precise description of her sexual fantasies about men. If she doesn’t watch out, she will soon become another Cameron Diaz, wasting her talent, beauty and screen presence on ordinary or cheap comedies that don’t deserve her. And why oh why is she getting her face stretched and pulled to be so unnaturally unlined? Oh Rache, your loveliness lies in how that smile travels from your lips to your eyes. You are risking losing that because some idiots out there equate beauty with smooth skin.

The story of HB2, for what it’s worth, is about the three friends from HB1 – Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) – who decide to start a new business. When millionaire Burt Hanson (Christoph Waltz) tries to cheat them out of their venture, they plan to get back at him and simultaneously save their new enterprise by kidnapping his son (Chris Pine).

The sad part of this film is that it had potential. First, when the writing by Sean Anders and John Morris is not being slothfully unimaginative, it’s funny in places. For instance, when the lead trio try to ensure that they don’t lose the police who are chasing their car, the result is a hilarious stretch which owes its hilarity not to abuse or distasteful cracks about adult and child rape that we get elsewhere in the film, but to the effective interspersing of stillness and frenzy. Second, just count the formidable number of Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG, Emmy, BAFTA and Cannes awards on the bookshelves of this cast! Why oh why did they agree to do this low-IQ film?

I know, I know, the answer lies in the box-office potential of comedies of every variety, and the success of Part 1. I confess I didn’t watch the first film – in spite of Bateman and Aniston being in the cast – because of its listless title. However, it got relatively good reviews and this time I thought: how bad can a poorly-named film possibly be if it stars these two? As it turns out, very bad indeed. The addition of the killingly talented Christoph Waltz to the acting rolls only adds to the heartache in watching this bland, mindless, ordinary film.

Rating (out of five): *

CBFC Rating (India):
Running time:
MPAA Rating (US):
108 minutes
R (for strong crude sexual content and language throughout)
Release date in France:
November 26, 2014

1 comment:

  1. Like with many comedy sequels, ‘Horrible Bosses 2’ doesn’t really do much new when compared to the first film.