Blu-ray Review: Horrible Bosses 2

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Three years after the original Horrible Bosses drummed up considerable box office returns, Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) are back. Horrible Bosses 2 is available to own on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, and Digital HD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment beginning February 24. Though it didn’t garner quite the same reaction, Bosses 2 ranked in just north of $100 million worldwide. The boys are looking to avoid being bossed around again. This time they’re determined to be their own bosses. They’ve developed a semi-ridiculous shampoo/conditioner dispenser that attaches to shower heads. The “Shower Buddy” (the name is a humorous point of contention among the guys) is their proposed ticket to self-sufficiency.

Horrible Bosses 1 (380x253).jpgA new director, Sean Anders (who also co-scripted with John Morris), has taken over the reins. The new Blu-ray edition contains an extended cut that adds about eight minutes to the already overlong 108-minute theatrical cut. For the first third or so, Bosses 2 is a lewdly laugh-out-loud experience. Father and son business barons Burt (Christoph Waltz) and Rex (Chris Pine) Hanson show an interest in selling the “Shower Buddy” via their widely-circulated mail order catalog. Rex wants to buy the guys off outright for a single fee. The older, wiser (read: more devious) Burt seems more inclined to include the entrepreneurial trio in the production process. Of course, it’s all a cover for an even more underhanded way of wrestling the product from their hands.

Horrible Bosses 3 (380x253).jpgAlso returning to the fold are the sex-crazed Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston), the guys’ presently-incarcerated former boss David Harken (Kevin Spacey), and criminal mastermind Dean “MF” Jones (Jamie Foxx). The latter comes into play when Nick, Kurt, and Dale need help with a plan to kidnap Rex and hold him for ransom. The deeper Bosses 2 gets into crime caper territory, the less funny it becomes. The cast is full of energy (Chris Pine is a hyperactive standout), but kidnapping, car chases, and gunplay bog down the proceedings. The loud, brash action elements burden the raunchy sight gags and rapid-fire verbal riffing that keeps the early portion so lively. The result just might make you wish you had gone back and re-watched the first film instead.

Horrible Bosses 4 (380x253).jpgIn addition to an excellent audio/visual presentation (with a powerfully bass-driven DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix), the Blu-ray includes a number of very funny special features. Best of all is a collection of outtake segments called “Off the Cuff: One Liners You Didn’t See,” which is pretty self-explanatory. It totals about 18 minutes. There’s also a decent ‘making of’ called “Endless Laughter Guaranteed!” that’s about the same length (and is included on the DVD as well, that edition’s only special feature). There are a few minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from the car chase scene (“High Speed Crash Course”), and some staged short segments (“Nick Kurt Dale Inc.: Employee Testimonials,” “It’s the Shower Buddy Infomercial,” and “Let the Sexual Healing Begin”).

Fans of the first film will probably find plenty enjoy in Horrible Bosses 2, mostly due to the chemistry of the excellent, energetic cast. In the end, it’s an unnecessary sequel that is far from unwatchable. It’s just not particularly inspired.

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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is music and film. As “The Other Chad,” he has written for the online magazine Blogcritics since 2008. When he’s not writing, Chaz can be found trolling jazz clubs, attempting to find somewhere to play his sax (whether anyone wants to hear…

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