Bad taste gags galore as sequel to hit comedy fails horribly

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Empty-headed schemers Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) are back with more vulgar comedy in Horrible Bosses 2 (15), writes Natalie Stendall.

After trying to murder each other’s bosses in 2011, the trio go it alone in business with hair-brained invention, the Shower Buddy.

They soon realise they’ve been tricked by billionaire Bert Hanson (the underused Christoph Waltz) and resort to kidnapping his son (Chris Pine).

New writers for the franchise John Morris and Sean Anders, who also directs, stretch the original concept very thin. But this flimsy plot is not the worst thing about Horrible Bosses 2. That’s the jokes.

Anders’s film is plagued by bad taste humour from sexist jokes and rape gags to offensive impersonations. Much of the comedy is uncomfortable rather than funny, especially when it weaves its sexual harassment and male rape humour in with ideas about masculinity.

That the victim of these jokes is a man, whose friends imply should want to get with sex addict Julia (Jennifer Aniston) anyway, does nothing to make it funny.

In the wake of these tasteless gags Nick, Kurt and Dale begin to look as horrible as bad guy Hanson. Even Bateman’s straight-man comedy is too tired to save the day.

Anders delivers an energetic car chase but it’s the credit closing out-takes - much funnier than the film itself - that arrive just in time to leave a brief smile on our lips.

Verdict: 1/5