Blu-ray Review Comedy

Blu-ray Review: Horrible Bosses 2

March 10, 2015Ben Mk


More horrible than the first?

After sticking it to their employers in 2011's Horrible Bosses, Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman), Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) are back for more job-related hijinks in the sequel. In Horrible Bosses 2, they're sick of being kicked around by their higher-ups and have gone into business for themselves. But when they're served a harsh lesson in cutthroat corporate tactics from a potential business partner, they set out to write the wrongs committed against them the only way they know how — by taking revenge.

   

The Film The target of Nick, Kurt and Dale's retaliation this time around is Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz), a crafty businessman who does a number on our dim-witted trio when he places an order for a hundred thousand units of their invention, an all-in-one bath-time solution called the Shower Buddy, only to back out of the deal after they've already sunk half-a-million dollars into manufacturing costs. But what really has Nick, Kurt and Dale incensed is that it was part of Bert's plan all along: to drive them into bankruptcy, then swoop in and buy up all their inventory for cheap.

As a means of serving Bert his well-deserved comeuppance, they concoct a kidnap and ransom scheme. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when their intended victim, Burt's cocky son, Rex (Chris Pine), decides he wants in on their plan. The result is another comic misadventure for our three company stooges, one that has them evading the police and reconnecting with some of the characters from the first film. Among them, Nick's now-incarcerated boss, Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), Dale's sex-addicted former boss, Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston), and their "murder consultant," Dean "MF" Jones (Jamie Foxx).

Yes, this sequel feels quite derivative and unnecessary, as co-writer/director Sean Anders and screenwriter John Morris more or less recycle the premise of the original, even hitting some of the same beats as in the first film. However, that shouldn't be taken to mean that Horrible Bosses 2 is completely devoid of merit. There's still some modest entertainment to be found in the cast's performances, especially in the comedic chemistry brought to the screen by Bateman, Sudeikis and Day. Suffice to say, the movie itself may be short on redeeming qualities, but at least it has its cast going for it.

Audio/Visual Fidelity Horrible Bosses 2 may not win any awards for its cinematography or sound design, but the film still looks and sounds plenty respectable on Blu-ray. Image quality is pleasing, thanks to crisp and clear detail, vibrant colors and excellent black levels all around. And the film's primarily dialogue-driven soundstage is nicely represented by the disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, which keeps things rather low key for the most part, saving any real surround activity and LFE support for a third act car chase and a handful of songs.

Special Features Warner's Blu-ray release includes both the 108-minute theatrical version of the film and the 116-minute extended version, as well as a DVD and an UltraViolet digital copy. Viewers will also find over 45 minutes in special features on the Blu-ray: namely, a 17-minute piece covering the comedic chemistry between its three lead actors, titled Endless Laughter Guaranteed!, a 3-minute featurette about the movie's climactic car chase sequence, titled High Speed Crash Course, and 7 minutes of tongue-in-cheek featurettes about Nick, Kurt and Dale's company, their invention and Julia's sex addiction therapy group (Nick Kurt Dale INC.: Employee Testimonials, Who Invented the Shower Buddy?, It's the Shower Buddy - Infomercial and Let the Sexual Healing Begin). Last but not least, there's 16 minutes worth of Off the Cuff: One-Liners You Didn't See, a collection of additional and alternate jokes spread across a total of thirteen scenes.


The Bottom Line Like most comedy sequels, Horrible Bosses 2 isn't a movie anyone was really clamoring for. Still, if you like Bateman, Sudeikis, Day and the rest of the cast, you'll find it contains enough decent laughs to make it worth checking out at least once. Either way, Warner's Blu-ray release is a fairly solid affair, featuring an excellent audio/video presentation and two cuts of the film, not to mention an assortment of lightweight extras. Give it a chance and you may be surprised: it's not as horrible as you think.  Ben Mk

Disc Breakdown
The Film  —  
Audio/Visual Fidelity  —  
Special Features  —  





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