Sean Anders is the director and co-writer of this. I was pleasantly surprised by his films She’s Out of My League and Hot Tub Time Machine. I was really disappointed by his screenplays for We’re the Millers and Dumb and Dumber To. This is dumber, too (and Anders’ had four other screenwriters work on this).
Just like the first Horrible Bosses, there are a handful of laughs, but they’re ruined by such inane crap and utterly unrealistic scenarios. Sure, you’re supposed to suspend disbelief when watching a movie like this, but these characters are all so dumb, you can’t even imagine they’d function in life. It’s so much more fun when you have dumb characters that are believable (think about the staff that worked at “Hard Bodies” in Burn After Reading).
The three leads (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day) all have comedic chemistry, but we got that in the first picture three years ago.
The first 30 minutes was a great set-up with some fun laughs. It was nice to see Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele) as a talk show host interviewing the three and their new invention – the “Shower Buddy.” Yet even during that fun segment, with Day dripping in flop-sweat from the panic of being on TV…fans of great film comedy will think of Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. In fact, this movie borrows from a lot of better comedies, and even a few gags from their first film.
Jennifer Aniston’s character was completely idiotic, as the sex addict back on the prowl. Chris Pine’s character, as a rich guy the trio plans to kidnap, doesn’t have a single funny scene. Even when he’s bragging about the things in his office – Joe Montana’s football, a dinosaur tooth – I thought of how much funnier a similar scene was in Ted, when the snobby rich guy shows his sports memorabilia, and the last piece he points out is “Lance Armstrong’s ball.”
Most of the jokes that fly by in this have punchlines that don’t land.
The amazing Christoph Waltz is wasted in his role as investor Bert Hanson, who screws the guys over on their product.
Kevin Spacey had scenes that will make some laugh…he’s giving the guys advice from jail…but those were a waste of time and talent as well.
The one person that did add some comic spark was Jamie Foxx, as the criminal that explains how they can pull off a kidnapping. Unfortunately, those best scenes are shown in the commercial.
I am ashamed to admit that I did have a few big laughs in the movie. When Chris Pine starts punching himself and Sudeikis yells, “He’s ‘Fight Clubbing’ himself! We got a fight-clubber here!”
There’s a fun slow-motion walk, too.
Yet the more I try to come up with funny scenes, the more I just think of all the unfunny ones. How can anybody over the age of 15 laugh when there’s a mistake and a character thinks he’s speaking at an AA meeting, and it’s really a sex addicts meeting? Oh, just use your imagination on the amount of innuendos there.
Just as the movie started strong, it did the same with the music, giving us The Clash’s “Police on my Back.” Yet just as the humor got lame, so did the music (The Heavy’s “How You Like Me Now?”).
This might be the only time I saw closing credits in a movie that showed outtakes that weren’t funny! That’s got to be a record.
For great comedy involving kidnapping, find 9 to 5 or Ruthless People.
This gets 2 stars out of 5.