Film: "Horrible Bosses 2"; Cast: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz, Brandon Richardson, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey and Lindsay Sloane; Director: Sean Anders; Rating: **1/2
"Horrible Bosses 2" conjures images of vicious and maleficent employers who treat their employees shabbily and probably that's why the 2011 released film "Horrible Bosses" was a predictable runaway success.
But, taking off from its predecessor, "Horrible Bosses 2" graduates from this premise to the idea of being one's own boss and sensitive towards their employees. And thus, probably, this film fails to leave an impact.
No longer burdened by their respective previous employers, the trio, Nick Hendricks (Bateman), Kurt Buckman (Sudeikis), and Dale Arbus (Day) have turned into entrepreneurs, producing an innovative shower. They are now looking out for partners to help them take this venture forward, to a different level.
Soon their paths cross with a multi-millionaire businessman, Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz), who lures them with a whopping order. They go all out, beyond their means, to achieve their targets. But when they are duped by Bert, they realise that after all they "are not boss material".
Now down in the dumps and bankrupt, as their revenge and survival strategy, they plan to kidnap Bert's grown-up son Rex (Chris Pine), who willingly becomes their victim.
Prior to that, they seek help and advice from their old pal Jones (Jamie Foxx) as well as Nick's foul-mouthed, now imprisoned ex-boss (Kevin Spacey). But all in vain.
Packaged with a series of set pieces of crass slapsticks and insinuations which intentionally inject humour and sub-plots, which are loosely assembled events that swing on morality, the entire plot seems contrived.
Director Sean Ander's efforts lack the much-needed punch. The writing is lethargic. The dialogues are on-the-face-blunt, tactless and mediocre, which suits the characterisation.
With the trio acting as dumb-idiots, their performances are good and credible, but definitely not outstanding. Bateman seems like the sane one who is always frustrated, Sudeikis is always on a hop and Day is squeaky, loud and irritating.
Of the supporting cast, Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine as the father-son duo are worth a mention. They are in fact, the surprise package in this edition. Waltz is good as the slime-bag businessman, but it is Chris Pine, as his over-enthusiastic, wayward as well as enigmatic son, who steals the show.
Jennifer Aniston as Dale's filthy, sex-addicted former employer along with Kevin Spacey, in their short screen time, helps in keeping some semblance of consistency with "Horrible Bosses". They are just reduced to stock characters and hence leave no impression on the audience.
With overall good production values, cinematography and action, which includes an unexpected car chase, "Horrible Bosses 2", with a potential for a truly dark comedy is, in turn just an ordinarily, good-natured comedy sans the bosses. It clearly lacks the zing.