“Horrible Bosses 2” (2014)

Jennifer-Aniston-in-Horrible-Bosses-2.jpg

★★★★☆

It’s rare that a sequel lives up to the original, but “Horrible Bosses 2” is an exception to the rule. Writer/director Sean Anders (“Hot Tub Time Machine”, “We’re The Millers”) brings back the original cast for another wild ride through Los Angeles. This time, the three buddies (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day) are trying to start their own business and run afoul of a crooked business magnate.

The three leads are just as inept as ever. Maybe even dumber than in the last movie, but still somehow charming. They function more or less as a single character in this movie. Whereas in the first movie there was a different story thread for each, this time they’re all working together on the same thing. And they kind of merge into one “character” – individually they’d be mundane, but the way they riff off each other somehow works.

The supporting cast is stellar again. Kevin Spacey’s character from the first film is in prison now, and the boys go to him for advice on what to do when their business is threatened. Spacey is the same vile, foul-mouthed jerk as before – and he plays the role with gusto.

Jamie Foxx is back as “Mother Fucker” Jones and does a solid job. It’d be easy for him to go over-the-top, but he stays in character and it plays well against the out-of-control nature of the three leads.

Jennifer Aniston also returns as nymphomaniac dentist Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S. – her scenes are almost worth the whole movie. She gets to say the nastiest, raunchiest things and it’s all done in such great “matter of fact” manner. It’s hilarious. The scene with her “Sexual Addiction Support Group” is epic.

Chris Pine plays the son of the magnate and his character is a compeat scumbag. His father is played by the always mean and offbeat Christoph Waltz. Waltz has this amazing knack for being menacing and charming at the same time. Veteran character actor Jonathan Banks plays the detective trying to follow the criminal action being perpetrated. The scenes involving any of these three are solid and fun to watch.

This is a very adult comedy. The dick jokes start in the first five minutes and the language is blissfully foul throughout. But it is hilarious. I actually like the sequel more than the origin – the antics of the three leads got a bit tiresome in the first installment. But in this one, the supporting cast is even stronger and they’re given a bigger role. This results in an overall more interesting and entertaining movie.

Critics reviews of this movie are generally bad. They don’t like the foul language or the derivate nature of the plot. So what? It’s a great cast and a well-balanced script. No, it’s not anything “new” and yes, the language and jokes are worthy of a frat-house. But if you like that kind of mad-cap comedy and enjoy seeing great actors having fun at their craft, this is a fun movie to see.

This isn’t high art or a movie you’ll be talking about in a month, but for a holiday movie release it’s worth seeing – leave the kids at home.