A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Horrible Bosses 2 is the sequel to Horrible Bosses, but it's far less funny -- and even more tasteless. Language is extremely strong, with tons of uses of "f--k" (and just about every other word under the son) and heavy, frequent sexual innuendo. A sex act is shown on a grainy surveillance tape, with thrusting and a man's naked bottom. Women are objectified. Guns are fired, characters die, and blood is shown. A man punches himself in the face. The main characters cheerfully enter into a criminal plot, with no consequences (they seem too dumb to have learned anything). The first movie was quite funny and smart, and it was possible to sympathize with the characters, but this time, their stupidity is their undoing. But teens who loved the original hit will probably still want to see this one, too.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Having been freed from their horrible bosses in the previous movie, Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) have decided to go into business selling their new invention, a "shower buddy." But a ruthless businessman (Christoph Waltz) cheats them by getting them to manufacture 100,000 units and then canceling the order. With their livelihood at stake, the guys plan to kidnap the businessman's horrible son, Rex (Chris Pine). But they receive a shock when Rex wants to be kidnapped -- for a cut of the ransom. Things get even more complicated when Dale's old dentist boss (Jennifer Aniston) and "MF" Jones (Jamie Foxx) enter the picture, and the boys face a nasty double-cross.
Is it any good?
The original Horrible Bosses was funny, fresh, and smart; HORRIBLE BOSSES 2, on the other hand, is unfunny, stale, and dumb. In the first movie, the characters were stuck in intolerable situations, and it was easy to side with them. This time their own crushing stupidity gets them into their mess, and sympathy is in short supply. Worse, the trio is together in every scene, and their shtick is the same throughout: Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) chatter incessantly about vaguely unrelated topics, and Nick (Jason Bateman) rolls his eyes and makes flat, deadpan comments.
The director of the first film was Seth Gordon, of the great documentary The King of Kong. The new director, Sean Anders, made the not-so-great Adam Sandler movie, That's My Boy. Perhaps as a direct correlation, there's a distinct drop in comic timing and pitch this time around; Horrible Bosses 2 feels too long, drags over too many dead spots, and repeats the same gags. Not to mention that so many of the jokes, in addition to being tiresome, are simply tasteless and annoying.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Horrible Bosses 2's strong sexual innuendo. What effect does it have? Is it shocking? Does it reveal anything about the characters?
What are the ways in which violence can affect an audience? How does it feel in this movie? Does it inspire laughter? Shock?
Why do the characters choose crime to solve their problems? Is their choice realistic? Is it funny? Does it make them sympathetic? What do the characters learn from their ordeal?
How does the movie view women?
- In theaters: November 26, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: February 24, 2015
- Cast: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis
- Director: Sean Anders
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 108 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong crude sexual content and language throughout
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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