Timing is everything, when it comes to comedy, and this sequel suffers from an acute case of terrible timing. First of all, with the Bill Cosby rape allegations figuring so prominently in the news nowadays, the last thing anybody wants to laugh at is a premise predicated upon secretly slipping a knockout pill into the drink of an unsuspecting victim.
Equally distasteful is the running joke revolving around a female trying to turn a homosexual man straight by seducing him, suggesting that all you need to alter a gay guy’s sexual preference is an attractive seductress in a skimpy outfit. The picture’s political-incorrectness even extends to ethnic jokes, such as a cringe-inducing scene where a man mocks his Asian housekeeper’s thick accent.
Throw in unfunny skits about rape, pedophilia and the Ku Klux Klan, and you have a raunchy romp that repeatedly resorts to terribly tasteless fare simply for the sake of a cheap punch line.
Directed by Sean Anders (We’re the Millers), “Horrible Bosses 2” features Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day reprising their lead roles as BFFs Nick, Kurt and Dale, respectively. Also returning are Jennifer Aniston as nymphomaniac Dr. Julia Harris, Jamie Foxx as feloniously-inclined Mother-[expletive] Jones, Kevin Spacey as conniving Dave Harken, and Lindsay Sloane as Dale’s wife, Stacy, while additions to the cast include Christoph Waltz, Chris Pine, Keegan-Michael Key and Jonathan Banks.
This go-round, the intrepid protagonists morph from disgruntled employees into hapless entrepreneurs with no clue about bringing their invention, the Shower Buddy, to market. Consequently, they soon find themselves ruined financially by a sleazy investor Bert Hanson (Waltz), who rationalizes cheating them with, “I make new enemies every day. It’s called business.”
So, the three hatch a cockamamie plan to recoup their losses by kidnapping the creep’s son (Pine) for ransom. What they didn’t bank on, however, was the possibility that Bert couldn’t care less about freeing his ne’er-do-well offspring (a motif reminiscent of Ruthless People (1986), where Danny DeVito ignored a demand for cash being made by his wife Bette Midler’s abductors).