When 2011's "Horrible Bosses" came to an end, did you find yourself wondering (aloud), "What happens next?" Well, you're in luck, because this week "Horrible Bosses 2" is going to answer all of those questions (and then some).

"Horrible Bosses 2" has Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, and Charlie Day reprising their respective roles from the first film, and this time the hapless trio gets involved in a scheme to kidnap the son (Chris Pine) of a rich entrepreneur (Christoph Waltz) who has screwed them out of a big deal. Yes, they've downgraded from murder to kidnapping. Hey, times are tough all over.

But does this sequel bring the yuks? Or should you skip this one and instead just go to town on Thanksgiving leftovers? Read on to find out!

1. There Aren't Really Any Bosses in This One
The movie is called "Horrible Bosses 2" but there aren't really any bosses, per se. The boys are now in business for themselves, working on a nifty gizmo called the Shower Buddy that dispenses shampoo and conditioner automatically from the nozzle. And there is some lip service given to the fact that they're their own bosses. But does that make them horrible? We're confused. And alone. Someone help us.

2. It's Not All That Funny
The first movie was mildly enjoyable but ultimately too safe and formulaic to be any good. This sequel is more of the same (and more of the same is very bad indeed). There are long stretches when you'd be hard-pressed to even identify what, exactly, was supposed to be funny, let alone laugh at any of the so-called jokes. Everything is slapdash and poorly structured and way too safe to be anything beyond just there.

3. Almost Everyone Makes a Return From the First Film
There is a sense of loyalty with the "Horrible Bosses" team, we'll give them that: in addition to Sudeikis, Bateman and Day, Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey (who played two of the original horrible bosses) show up for extended cameos, and Jamie Foxx returns as the would-be hardened criminal who guides the goofballs on their quest towards infamy. That's got to mean something, right?

4. Chris Pine Is Great
Who knew Chris Pine could be so funny? In 2014, Pine has starred in a number of crackerjack comedic personas, including Joe Carnahan's "Stretch" (it's on Netflix Instant! Watch it now!) and in next month's big musical extravaganza "Into the Woods." He's also one of the few bright spots in "Horrible Bosses 2," as the supposed kidnap victim who instead designs to join the cause and help our heroes blackmail his father. His performance is genuinely electric and it's great how he messes with the dynamic that the three leads have developed. Chris Pine: he's more than a handsome face. He's a handsome face who can make you laugh out loud.

5. Christoph Waltz Is Underused
Sadly, as Pine's father, Waltz is painfully underused. This man won two Oscars, people! Oh well, look for him next month in Tim Burton's based-on-a-true-story "Big Eyes," where he really gets to shine. That's a great movie. This is not.

6. It's Way Too Long
At 108 minutes, it's at least 15 minutes too long. Especially considering how little actually happens in the movie.

7. The Leads Are Super Obnoxious
Sudeikis, Bateman, and Day are all gifted comic performers and, on their own, hugely entertaining. (It goes without saying that "Pacific Rim," which costarred Day, might be one of our favorite movies ever.) But together, the three of them are just obnoxious. You can tell that the threadbare script left them room for improvisation, but director Sean Anders just watches them bumble around, floundering over lines of dialogue they obviously created and then immediately have to deal with. And there's more overlapping dialogue than an average Robert Altman movie, but not in a good way. This forces Day, whose voice is already a high-pitched squeak, to become even more insufferably whiny. It's just a bad combo of slack direction and a poor screenplay; we feel bad for them more than anything else.

8. Four People Wrote This Thing
Four. John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, Sean Anders, and John Morris.

9. For a "Dark Comedy," It's Not All That Dark
One of the big fallacies of the original film was that it was going for edgy dark humor, more along the lines of something like Danny De Vito's "The War of the Roses." Instead, it was totally tepid, a by-the-numbers comedy that elicited few, if any, genuine moments where you wondered whether to not the filmmakers were going too far (as should be the mark of any good dark comedy worth its salt). This sequel is even tamer. There's nothing even approaching dark comedy in this thing. Although there is a reference to "Predator" and an extended gag where one of the guy's has Katy Perry's empowering anthem "Roar" as their ring tone. So there's that stuff. You'd think Waltz, whose two Oscars were won for Quentin Tarantino joints, could have suggested some bold and bloody humor, at the very least.

10. You Won't Be Itching for a Third Film
This franchise is kaput. Done. Over. Unless, of course, it makes a billion dollars over the weekend. Then there will undoubtedly be the third film in a series that the studio will try to peg as a "trilogy" (one envisioned as such all along). But then again, nobody wanted a sequel, so who knows?

"Horrible Bosses 2" is in theaters now.

categories Movies, Reviews