Given the notorious track record of comedy sequels, “Horrible Bosses 2” certainly could have turned out worse.  But with its talented cast and  the dark comedy premise, the film could've  taken a few more risks.

At the beginning of the film, the main trio Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) appear on a morning news program in an attempt to find financiers for their new product, Shower Buddy. Following their disastrous segment, the group learns that retail tycoon Burt Hanson (Christoph Waltz) is eager to back their venture. Production starts almost immediately, but when Hanson’s 10,000 unit order is complete, he informs them that he intends to let their indebted company go bankrupt before purchasing the shipment at a fraction of the price. Enraged, the trio kidnaps Hanson’s son Rex (Chris Pine), hoping to use the ransom money to save their business. Still way out of their league, the hapless criminals botch the initial abduction, only to find themselves dragged along by Rex himself, who aims to extort far more money out of his billionaire father than Nick, Kurt or Dale ever dreamed of.

Since the film never really asks the three main stars to venture outside their comfort zones, Pine is without a doubt the highlight of “Horrible Bosses 2.” Feeling ignored by his father in the wake of his “kidnapping,” Rex proves to be completely deranged, adding a real live wire to a film that desperately needs energy. Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx do a nice job in their extended cameos, but Waltz is sadly wasted in an underwritten, villainous role. Jennifer Aniston rounds out the returning cast as Dr. Julia Harris, Dale’s former boss who now runs a sex addiction support group out of her dentist’s office. Aside from Pine’s entertaining, over–the–top performance, there’s nothing new to set this film apart from its predecessor. Fans of the first may enjoy seeing what the gang is up to this time around, but most are better off sitting out this crazy scheme.


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