Horrible Bosses 2. Starring Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz, Kevin Spacey, and Jennifer Aniston. 108 mins. Rated R. New Line Cinema. Action/Comedy

3 out of 5 stars

When I went to watch Horrible Bosses 2, I had high expectations. The first movie of the series was a hilarious box office success, becoming one of the most profitable black humour comedies of all time. For those of you that did not watch the first one, Horrible Bosses (2011) is about Nick, Kurt and Dale (Bateman, Sudeikis, and Day, respectively), three friends that have really unethical, unprofessional and abusive bosses, which they decide to murder. After a series of crazy twists, they somehow manage to get rid of their bosses.

However, it appears things did not turn out well for them, as they begin this sequel unemployed and in the pursuit of their own company. Bert Hanson (Waltz) is the owner of Boulder Stream, a catalogue retailer company that makes a deal with the disastrous trio, but ends up deceiving them afterwards. They then decide to extort money from Bert by not murdering, but kidnapping his son, Rex Hanson (Pine).

Hollywood has the tendency to repeat successful “recipes,” and this movie is no different. Three easily distracted, trouble-magnet friends…do The Hangover and Tropic Thunder ring a bell? Much like The Hangover, Horrible Bosses 2 displays another Hollywood tendency: the sequel follows the same rhythm as the previous film. You will notice at least five jokes, and even some soundtracks, from the first movie.

Another very common feature among comedies is that its actors tend to fall into “readymade profiles.” Bateman is once again, like in most of his roles, the miserable, predictable man that takes shit from everyone. The same can be said for the womanizer Sudeikis, and the clumsy, hugely unfocused Day. Still, that does not mean that those figures are not extremely funny and well played.

I give thumbs up for the chameleonic team of supporting actors, including Waltz and Spacey. Aniston in particular manages to play an oversexed woman, different from her usual roles, just by putting on a brunette wig. Thumbs down for Sudeikis’ character, though. Compared to the first movie, this version of Kurt became a follower who keeps floating between his friends’ opinions; even the messed up Dale has a stronger personality than him.

Although Horrible Bosses 2 is not as brilliant as the first one, I strongly recommend it. Besides its downsides, the main characters still have their chemistry and their ability to make bad decisions when gathered in a bar. If anything, it will definitely make you laugh.