Horrible Bosses was a perfectly serviceable comedy that is most notable for featuring Charlie Day, because Charlie Day is a national treasure and any time he’s on screen it’s worth watching. And since it made $209 million at the box office, it got a sequel, which is due in November. Horrible Bosses 2 reunites Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Day, as well as brings back two of the three bosses from the first movie, Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston. Jamie Foxx is also back as…who was he in the first one? I forget, because the movie wasn’t memorable (except for national treasure Charlie Day), and I can’t remember what Foxx had to do with anything in the first movie.
The problem with sequels is that they’re usually just a straight rehash of everything that made the first movie a hit. 22 Jump Street actually mined that to great effect, but it was also styled as a self-appointed meta-critic on the phenomenon of sequels. I don’t get that vibe from Horrible Bosses 2, but the trailer is also not terribly informative. There’s a kidnapping, and the guys are full-blown criminals now? It’s not clear exactly what’s going on. For instance—who are the horrible bosses? Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz are new faces, and based on the structure of the first movie, they would seem to be the horrible bosses.
But I sort of think the horrible bosses this time around might be Bateman, Sudeikis and Day*. This is such a shoddily cut trailer that it has to be either 1) attempting to conceal a major plot point, or 2) just really sh*tty. I want to give it the benefit of the doubt that it’s more than just retreading Horrible Bosses, because Day, who is self-employed on one of the best comedies on television, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, doesn’t need the money and is quite picky when it comes to movie roles.
If Day signed up for a sequel—which there was no pre-existing contract for, Warner Brothers had to convince these guys to come back—I want to believe it’s because there was actually something worth pursuing. Something other than, “Oh look, Jennifer Aniston is playing a hot raunchy chick again,” because that’s her go-to role these days, and frankly, she’s not very funny. I’m slightly worried that Day is trapped in a movie that’s also not very funny.