Not so Horrible Bosses
If the first Horrible Bosses was a sly reaction to financial crisis, this sequel grabs at the cutthroat nature of capitalism – but with idiots.
Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis are relentless as a trio. In tandem they’re too perfect. Bateman’s the low, the brains. Day is a screechy, over reactive, unstable numbskull. Sudekis is the planner, albeit a bad one.
Horrible Bosses was not an accident. This sequel shows how mutually connected this cast is. Pluck one of them away and Horrible Bosses falls apart. In some way, each of them needs one another to function as characters. It’s a mystery as to how they churned through life for years prior to meeting one another.
In this scenario, this threesome have a business plan, a creaky, informercial-bound shower product snapped up by a money-above-all CEO, played with slickness by Christoph Waltz. He’s the caricature of America’s income gap, caring less for his snobby kidnapped son (Chris Pine) than the ransom money he’s meant to leave under a bench.
So yes, Horrible Bosses 2 is a ransom movie. A typical one too, at least it seems so. Horrible Bosses 2 is quick to rip out genre cliches and upset their traditional balance. Failed kidnappings turn into a success. A slow motion walk is actually in slow motion. Simple phone calls are fumbled and gates are smashed through with consequences. For a film of morons, the script is often quite crafty.
All is tied up in a bundle of returning bit roles, including a furious Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx (upgraded to co-star for the third act), and a sex addicted Jennifer Aniston. They’re all golden, if pushed into the script with forced contrivances.
This sequel shows no signs of maturation. The bevy of (hilariously) childish sex references remain the cornerstone of Horrible Bosses’ comedy. That and the sheer ineptitude of three dopes who are abysmal at executing felonies. The criminal group of Office Space would be proud… or a perfect match.
Horrible Bosses is a little plain visually, but inoffensively so. High fidelity material is meandering, there one minute, gone the next if you will. Much of the cinematography is kept at distance. Bateman, Day, and Sudeikis are consistently in the 2.35:1 frame together.
Warner encoding is not a problem. Images are stable and clear. A bit of haze added to some of Jennifer Aniston’s scenes avoid any complications. There’s no noise to pick up on either.
Intangibles are pleasing: Color is nicely warmed and black levels are sufficient, if failing to reach their full density. It is only a minor bother. Depth does not feel lost when Horrible Bosses 2 reaches night. In daylight, contrast is hefty.
Source material is not particularly sharp or overwhelming. For a typical modern comedy, visual work is a touch indifferent. It works and proves visually functional if failing to be a knockout.
A soundtrack hits hard, raising up when called on and upsetting the dynamic range a bit. Some of the song selections are quite fierce and dominant. These choices call upon the LFE as well, one of the few instances where the feature needs the low-end at all.
Until a wild finish, including a hectic car chase, Horrible Bosses 2 is not fitted with much sonic activity. Dialog, dialog, dialog. But, that end sequence is active. Sirens pan through the soundfield fluidly and engines rev in the subwoofer creating a satisfying bit of minor aural spectacle.
Endless Laughter Guaranteed is the closest thing here to a making of, interviewing the main cast on their chemistry while slipping in a slew of outtakes. It’s highly entertaining for all 17-minutes. High Speed Crash Course details the complexities of the finale in only three minutes.
Let the Sexual Healing Begin opens a selection of in-character, faux commercials at one or two minutes each, this one for the sexual addiction group in the movie. Who Invented the Shower Buddy is a failed promo for the product which is a jumping point for the story. Nick, Kurt, Dale Inc. features some of the employees of the company, and It’s the Shower Buddy is a parody of infomercials.
Off the Cuff is a collection of brief scene outtakes, without a play all option. It’s annoying, but the content is fun.
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