Movie Review: Horrible Bosses 2

Movie Review: Horrible Bosses 2

The baukish bro comedy is back

By Ben McEachenWednesday 10 Dec 2014MoviesReading Time: 3 minutes

The affectionate yet manly term ‘Bro’ has had a revival in recent years. From sports-fields to workplaces, tweets to movies, ‘Bro’ is big.

Movie Review: Horrible Bosses 2

This shorthand term for sibling status has a casual power. We can rattle it off, without really thinking about the deep bond suggested by ‘Bro’. Just like how it’s easy to underestimate the significance of ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ being used throughout the New Testament. To describe people who aren’t biologically related, yet are part of a spiritual family. Wow. That’s deep, right?

Nick, Kurt and Dale aren’t actual brothers, either. But they are a ‘Bro’ trio, in new bro-mance Horrible Bosses 2. Like its predecessor, and similar adult comedies such as The Hangover and I Love You, Man, HB2 is about blokes who are tight-knit, juvenile and prone to hijinks. Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day have easy chemistry as the ‘Bro’ trio. Their banter often takes centre stage and should amuse anyone who chuckles at sophisticated stupidity. But like HB2 overall, their trash talk gets repetitive and offensive, as vulgar material and swearing gushes freely.

Those who are put off by bro-mance bad taste, should stay away. As Nick, Kurt and Dale get involved in another far-fetched plot to take revenge upon yet another ‘horrible boss’, their kidnap caper is both loopy and crass. The all-star cast (Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine) help to bring more sizzle and life than the first Horrible Bosses. Although it surprisingly improves upon what came before, this sequel still hits lulls where smut is meant to compensate for lack of originality and momentum.

Underneath all the vulgarity – Friends‘ star Jennifer Aniston plays a sex addict, with vile dialogue – HB2 actually is about the ‘Bro’ bond. While there wouldn’t be a movie without their frustrating idiocy, Nick, Kurt and Dale constantly stick together. No matter what. They aim to improve each other’s lives, despite going about it in damaging, immoral or lunkheaded ways. The bond of ‘Bro’ continues to unite Nick, Kurt and Dale. Even as it keeps bringing them to the brink of destruction.

On one hand, you kinda want to celebrate these guys for their enduring friendship. On the other, HB2 hardly hides how their ‘Bro’ bond endures mainly because of the trouble they’re in. What is to be said of a ‘Bro’ who encourages murder or kidnap, to solve business problems? Or treats adultery as a joke? Or keeps getting you into hot water, because of crackpot schemes?

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Imagine what HB2 would have been like, if Nick, Kurt and Dale stopped. Considered. And acted sensibly, morally and selflessly – in the best interest of their ‘Bro’. Why, HB2 would cease to be a crass comedy, and might look more like some relationship guidelines, given out many centuries ago. In his first letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul put simply how brothers and sisters in the Christian faith should treat each other. 

‘No one should seek his own good, but the good of the other person.’ (1Cor 10:24)

Paul gives examples of how to live in ways which consider the best interests of brothers and sisters. Such behaviour doesn’t emerge in HB2, and the ‘Bro’ bond steadily turns toxic. A helpful demonstration of what not to do, when we are striving to be the best ‘Bro’ we can be.

Rating: MA15+
Distributor: Roadshow
Release Date: December 11