Comedy. Starring Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey. Directed by Sean Anders. Cert 16
Given that 2011’s Horrible Bosses took in more than $200m (€160m) at the box office worldwide, this sequel was as inevitable as another Band Aid single, but it reeks of a cynical contempt for the viewing public.
The original was tolerable, mainly because Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey and Colin Farrell clearly had a ball playing the titular group of evil employers who drove Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) to despair.
But this time out the latter trio have set up their own company and are trying be nice to their workers, which renders the title utterly redundant and is typical of the “what the hell, the public will swallow anything” attitude this project exudes.
The chief problem with this vile exercise is that we’re meant to find the blokey banter between the three leads hilarious and infectious, whereas most of the time it’s simply irritating and reeks of self-indulgent improvisation.
Added to that is a level of crudity and vulgarity that defies belief, not least with Jennifer Aniston reprising her role as a sex-obsessed, potty-mouthed dentist.
The ‘story’ involves the trio having a business idea ripped off by a foreign-born tycoon (Christoph Waltz), whereupon they decide to kidnap his waster of a son (Chris Pine, utterly stranded without anything remotely resembling a script), leading to scenes that play out predictably and without a single trace of a laugh.
The only thing Horrible Bosses 2 has going for it is that you get to hear The Clash playing Police On My Back over the opening titles, but after that it’s downhill at a rate of knots, making this easily one of the most depressing experiences I’ve had in a cinema this year.