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Non-Review Review: Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses 2 is a cluttered film. In many ways, it is handicapped by a reluctance to let go of what worked the first time around. As a result, the film seems to bring back just about every cast member it can, ensuring that everybody gets their own little arc and their own pay-offs. Two of the three original horrible bosses get extended subplots in the sequel, with an expanded role for another side character.

This leaves the film feeling a little crowded. The new additions to the cast seldom get room to breath. Horrible Bosses 2 brings in a rake of superb talent to fill out the supporting cast, but doesn’t have the time to do anything particularly interesting with them. Chris Pine makes the most significant impression, but Horrible Bosses 2 wastes  talent like Christoph Waltz and Jonathan Banks in fairly bland roles.

"I spot a sequel..."

“I spot a sequel…”

And yet, despite its problems managing space, Horrible Bosses 2 holds itself together. It’s a clumsy film, one that feels like it could have done with a script polish and some judicious editing at an early story phase, but it manages to hang a lot on the chemistry of its three leads. Even more than in the original film, Bateman, Sudeikis and Day find themselves playing archetypes rather than characters – but the fit rather comfortably into those archetypes.

Bateman, Sudeikis and Day spend a lot of Horrible Bosses 2 talking over one another – something that more than one character acknowledges over the course of the film. The result is a lot like the film itself; it’s often difficult to separate the important material from the background noise, but there’s also an underlying sense of fun that just about keeps everything ticking over.

"We've all seen Reservoir Dogs, right?"

“We’ve all seen Reservoir Dogs, right?”

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