Horrible Bosses 2
|Horrible Bosses 2|
|Directed by||Sean Anders|
by Michael Markowitz
|Music by||Christopher Lennertz|
|Edited by||Eric Kissack|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$107.7 million|
Horrible Bosses 2 is a 2014 American black comedy film directed by Sean Anders and written by Anders and John Morris. A sequel to 2011's Horrible Bosses, the film stars Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine, and Christoph Waltz. The plot follows Nick, Kurt, and Dale as they kidnap the son of a millionaire investor in order to blackmail him after he screws them over on a business deal. It was released by Warner Bros. Pictures on November 26, 2014, received mixed reviews, and grossed $107 million worldwide.
This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (May 2020)
Three years after the events of the first film, Nick, Dale, and Kurt decide to start their own business, selling a car wash-inspired shower head called the "Shower Buddy". They have trouble finding investors until they are approached by Bert Hanson and his son Rex. Bert agrees to invest if they can make 100,000 units. Taking out a business loan, the trio rent a warehouse, hire employees, and manage to produce their output. However, Bert backs out of their deal at the last minute, claiming that he never signed an agreement, and tells them that he plans to take their inventory in foreclosure and sell them (renamed the "Shower Pal") himself, while leaving the three in $500,000 debt with their outstanding loan.
Seeking financial advice, Nick, Dale, and Kurt visit Nick's imprisoned former boss, Dave Harken, who says the three have no feasible legal options to recover their losses. The trio then resolves to kidnap Rex and hold him for ransom. They seek the help of "Motherlover" Jones, who says the best way to kidnap someone who knows them is to keep the victim unconscious for the duration of the kidnapping. The three compose a ransom note asking for $500,000 and go to the office of Dale's former boss, Dr. Julia Harris, to steal a tank of nitrous oxide. While there, Kurt and Dale are almost caught by members from Julia's sex addiction support group; after they leave, Nick has sex with Julia, providing the distraction that allows Dale and Kurt to escape the building.
The trio goes to Rex's house, but while they hide in the closet, Dale accidentally turns on the tank and they pass out. When they wake up in the morning, they find Rex gone. Returning to the warehouse, they find Rex tied up in the trunk of their car. Rex gets out and reveals he found them hiding in his closet, but decided to stage his own kidnapping due to his strained relationship with his father and numerous personal debts. Rex sent the ransom note to Bert and increased the ransom to $5 million. The three are uncertain of Rex's plan, but Rex threatens to go to the police if they back out. They call Bert to inform him of Rex's kidnapping, threatening to kill Rex if the police are summoned. However, the police, led by Detective Hatcher, subsequently arrive at their warehouse to question Nick, Dale, and Kurt due to their involvement with Bert.
When the police leave, Rex breaks down, knowing Bert cares more about his money than his son. Now sympathetic to Rex, the trio agrees to work with him in the fake kidnapping, and all four devise a plan to outsmart the police and take the ransom money, utilizing untraceable phones, a basement garage to block out any tracking signal, and Kurt disguising himself as Bert. While the plan is in motion, the trio find that Kurt left Bert his own phone instead of the untraceable one. They nevertheless call Bert on Kurt's phone to give him the instructions. Before they leave, Julia arrives at their hotel room and demands to sleep with Dale or else she will report them for breaking into her office. Dale's wife Stacy, whom he has three daughters with, arrives and believing Dale is cheating on her with Julia, storms off. Dale angrily locks Julia in the bathroom so the three can leave.
In the basement garage, Nick, Dale, and Kurt demand that Bert give them the $5 million and the cell phone. However, Bert is killed by Rex, who reveals that, after seeing that his father did not care about him, he decided to kill Bert and frame the trio in order to inherit the family business. As the trio are pursued by the police, Jones arrives, having anticipated that they would be killed and was seeking to claim the ransom money for himself. Jones attempts to help them get back to the warehouse so they can prove their innocence. When they arrive, Jones escapes with the money and the police find Rex tied up. Before they arrest the trio, Kurt's phone rings in Rex's pocket; the police recognize the ringtone as the same one that was left to Bert by the kidnappers. Rex tries to claim the phone is his, but when Hatcher asks why Rex did not bother to call the police if he had a phone, Rex takes Hatcher hostage. Dale attempts to attack Rex, but Rex shoots him, which distracts him long enough for Hatcher to subdue and arrest him.
A few days later, Dale wakes up in the hospital to find out the three did get in trouble, but because Dale helped save Hatcher's life, the police dropped the charges. He also finds out Julia helped make amends with Stacy, although she hints at having raped him during his coma and promises to have sex with his wife as well. In the aftermath, their business goes into foreclosure but is subsequently purchased by Harken in prison, who allows the three of them to stay employed. Jones, meanwhile, uses the ransom money to invest in Pinkberry.
- Jason Bateman as Nick Hendricks
- Jason Sudeikis as Kurt Buckman
- Charlie Day as Dale Arbus
- Chris Pine as Rex Hanson
- Jennifer Aniston as Dr. Julia Harris
- Jamie Foxx as Dean "Motherlover" Jones
- Kevin Spacey as David Harken
- Christoph Waltz as Bert Hanson
- Jonathan Banks as Detective Hatcher
- Lindsay Sloane as Stacy Arbus
- Keegan-Michael Key as Mike
- Kelly Stables as Rachel
- Jerry Lambert as Skip
- Brianne Howey as Candy
- Lennon Parham as Roz
- Suzy Nakamura as Kim
- Brandon Richardson as Blake
- Keeley Hazell as Miss Lang
- Bruno Amato as Sex Addict Police Officer
- Sam Richardson as Producer
- Andy Buckley as Surveillance Audio Agent
- Rob Huebel as Pinkberry Executive
- Brendan Hunt as Sex Addict
- Rebecca Field as Sex Addict
- Shelby Chesnes as Jogger (Cameo)
- Will Forte as Derelict (Cameo)
Following the first film's release in July 2011, director Seth Gordon confirmed that talks were underway for a sequel due to the financial success of the film in the United States, saying: "Yeah, we've definitely discussed it. It's done well in the States, the film has, so that's becoming a more concerted effort now, we're trying to figure out what the sequel could be." On January 4, 2012, it was confirmed that a sequel was moving forward, and that screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein would be returning to write the script. At this time, New Line Cinema was reported to be negotiating with Gordon to return as director as well as with Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis to return in the lead roles. On February 27, 2012, it was confirmed that Goldstein and Daley were in the process of writing the new script. In March 2013, Goldstein and Daley confirmed that they had submitted multiple draft scripts for the sequel, and that production had moved towards finalizing the budget. Later in the same month Bateman, Day, and Sudeikis were confirmed to be reprising their roles, with Jamie Foxx negotiating to return. The film was once again produced by Brett Ratner and Jay Stern.
In August 2013, it was announced that Gordon would not be returning to direct because of scheduling conflicts and that the studio was actively searching for a replacement. In September 2013, Sean Anders was announced as Gordon's replacement, with John Morris joining the production as a producer. The pair had previously performed a rewrite on Goldstein's and Daley's sequel script. In September 2013, Jennifer Aniston signed on to reprise her role as Julia Harris.
On September 27, 2013, it was announced that the film would be released on November 26, 2014.
Horrible Bosses 2 grossed $54.4 million in North America and $53.2 million in other territories for a total worldwide gross of $107.7 million worldwide, against a budget of $57 million. This was just over half its predecessor's total gross of $209 million.
The film was released in 3,321 theaters in the United States and Canada on November 26, 2014. It earned $1 million from Tuesday night previews and $4.3 million (including previews) on its opening day. The next day on Thanksgiving Day it earned $3.1 million, for a two-day total of $7.3 million. On Friday the film earned $6.2 million. In its opening weekend it earned $15.5 million (a five-day total of $23 million), finishing fifth at the box office.
Outside North America, the film was released to 42 markets and earned $11.7 million from 4,900 screens. The highest debuts came from Russia ($2.3 million), the United Kingdom ($2 million), Mexico ($1.13 million) and Germany ($1 million).
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 34% based on 155 reviews and an average rating of 4.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Horrible Bosses 2 may trigger a few belly laughs among big fans of the original, but all in all, it's a waste of a strong cast that fails to justify its own existence." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 40 out of 100 based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, the same grade earned by its predecessor.
Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter said, "The jokes start growing stale well before the film's midpoint." Justin Chang of Variety called the film an "inane and incredibly tasteless sequel." Dan Callahan of TheWrap told that "the result is puerile, ugly and painfully unfunny." Moira MacDonald of The Seattle Times gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying "Lots of gags fly by, many of them in questionable taste (some downright offensive) and most of them unfunny." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film one out of four stars, saying "This ill-conceived sequel to 2011's entertaining Horrible Bosses is base, moronic, insulting and vulgar. It's also cringingly unfunny." Tom Russo of The Boston Globe gave the film two and a half out of four stars and said, "A new misadventure whose negligibly refined formula somehow ends up being more consistently entertaining." Stephen Holden of The New York Times said that the film is "one of the sloppiest and most unnecessary Hollywood sequels ever made, isn't dirtier or more offensive than its 2011 forerunner. But it is infinitely dumber and not half as funny."
Kyle Smith of the New York Post gave one out of four stars, saying "Duct tape, thick rope and the threat of being shot all figure prominently in Horrible Bosses 2. All would have been required to keep me in my seat if it weren't my job to report back on this factory-issued sequel." Betsy Sharkey of Los Angeles Times said, "Make no mistake, despite some well-earned laughs, Horrible Bosses 2 is not what qualifies as a good movie or even a particularly good R-rated comedy." Joe Williams of St. Louis Post-Dispatch gave the film two out of four stars and said, "Horrible Bosses 2 is further proof that likable actors have to take an occasional sick day." James Berardinelli gave the film one and a half stars out of four and wrote for ReelViews, "Horrible Bosses 2 (emphasis on "horrible") is an apt title for this repugnant, unnecessary sequel."
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 24, 2015. Like the first film, the Blu-ray release contains an extended version, which runs an additional eight minutes longer than the 108-minute theatrical cut.
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