Horrible Bosses 2

 hb-10431_a_l

DIR: Sean Anders • WRI: Sean Anders, John Morris • PRO: Chris Bender, John Cheng, John Morris, Brett Ratner, John Rickard, Jay Stern • DOP: Julio Macat • ED: Eric Kissack • MUS: Christopher Lennertz DES: Clayton Hartley • CAST: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis

I was a big fan of the original instalment of this series, and approached this sequel with an almost equal amount of trepidation, and excitement. If I had to decide after the viewing, which feeling has now been validated, I’d have to side with the trepidation. One of the main reasons for my excitement, in hindsight, was the absolutely brilliant 22 Jump Street, which had me approaching this movie with unwarranted positivity, when considering the batting average of comedy sequels historically. However, I have been sent crashing back to earth by this lazy, yet mildly amusing sequel.

Unlike most sequels the plot has had to deviate a lot from the original, mainly due to the fact that the level of contrivance would just be unbearable, if the three main characters, Nick, Kurt and Dale, were to find themselves shockingly under three new “horrible bosses”. The story starts off with our three main characters attempting to start their own business, and in essence banish the role of bosses from their lives forever, but as you might expect things don’t exactly go to plan. Their business idea ‘Shower Buddy’ gets stolen by a wealthy investor Burt Hansen, who tricks them into investing over 500,000 dollars in a manufacturing plant. Now, hugely in debt, the three guys decide that kidnapping Hansen’s evil son Rex, is the best way of recouping their money.

As is par for the course, the film desperately scrambles to include all of the popular elements of the original, with predictable cameos coming from Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey and Jaimie Foxx forced into the storyline. The film contains a lot of suspect humour, which could be considered at times both racist and misogynistic, and there’s no doubt that there’s a huge decline in quality when compared to the original.

In Bateman, Sudekis, and Day, however, the film  has three hugely talented comic actors, who are able to produce laughs from the sparse material they have been given. From the fresh faces in the movie, Christoph Waltz is hugely underutilised in the role as Kurt Hansen, while I hope this movie is both the beginning and end of Chris Pine’s comedic aspirations, after a try hard performance as Kurt’s son Rex.  I think fans of the original will possibly find enough laughs here to make the film worthwhile, while anyone who wasn’t a fan of the first movie will possibly be hurling objects at the screen.

Michael Rice

15A (See IFCO for details)

108 minutes

Horrible Bosses 2 is released 28th November 2014

Horrible Bosses 2 – Official Website

 

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Cinema Review: The Change-Up

Who'd be me

DIR: David Dobkin • WRI: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore• PRO David Dobkin, Neal H. Moritz • DOP: Eric Alan Edwards • ED: Lee Haxall Greg Hayden • DES: Barry Robison • CAST: Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Olivia Wilde, Leslie Mann

Body-swap comedies have always been an unreasonably popular sub-genre unto themselves, with kids turning into grown ups (Big, 13 Going On 30), grown ups turning into kids (17 Again), kids and their parents doing the switcheroo (Freaky Friday), swapping genders (The Hot Chick, It’s A Boy/Girl Thing) or rich folk and poor folk trading places (uhm… Trading Places). So does The Change-Up have anything new to bring to this already over-flowing table? Yes. Swearing. And boobies. But mostly swearing.

Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds are two best mates who don’t get to see each other much anymore since Bateman is married with kids and a high-pressure job, and Reynolds is a bum/out-of-work actor who likes nothing better than having sex with heavily pregnant women. While both peeing into a magical fountain, they both say the magical words ‘I wish I had your life’ and et voila! Body-swap! But wouldn’t you know it, the magical fountain has disappeared when they try to change back. Also, their individual lives are up a certain creek without a paddle, and they know must count on each other to sort it out.

So, plot wise, there’s nothing even remotely original here. But after the popularity of The Hangover and Bridesmaids, this too has been aimed squarely at the adults, and it is nice to see a normally clean-cut movie splattered with foul language and nudity. Bateman and Reynolds make for equally charming leads, and when they do the swap-out, much enjoyment can be found in the usually tightly wound Bateman cutting loose. And the supporting cast of Leslie Mann, Alan Arkin and the insanely beautiful Olivia Wilde all do the best they can with what they’re given.

The Change-Up isn’t going to win any awards, but it is exactly the kind of film you should go see with your best mate that you don’t see much of anymore.

Rory Cashin

Rated 16 (see IFCO website for details)

The Change-Up is released on 16th September 20111

The Change-Up – Official Website

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHnyW5Fvtvw

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The Switch

The Switch

DIR: Josh Gordon, Will Speck • WRI: Allan Loeb • PRO: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa • DOP: Jess Hall • ED: John Axelrad • DES: Adam Stockhausen • CAST: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Patrick Wilson, Juliette Lewis, Jeff Goldblum

I don’t know who will be more outraged by The Switch, women’s groups or geneticists, but at least, and surprisingly for a Jennifer Aniston rom-com, it won’t be cinema audiences. Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) throws a party, in full on new-age style, to celebrate her decision to have a baby by artificial insemination. At the party her best friend Wally (Jason Bateman), who opposes the plan, drunkenly upends the little cup containing the donor’s semen and replaces it with his own. Yep, he accidentally impregnates his best friend. Years later he meets the resultant child and wonders why he seems to share all his neuroses.

When the cast of Friends started to appear in movies we all believed that Jennifer Aniston would be the one to go on to great things. Now that her failure has been cemented is she passing her curse onto Jason Bateman, who, apart from small roles in films like Juno and Up in the Air, has yet to find a cinematic project worthy of his considerable comedic talent? Well, no actually. The film raises lots of laughs early on, although they do dry up when it starts to indulge in sentiment. Jeff Goldblum, as Wally’s mate Leonard, provides a steady stream of chuckles. I don’t know when exactly he made the change from leading man to character actor but he gives a hilariously eccentric performance in line with his turn in The Life Aquatic. Bateman is very good, even at the sentimental stuff, although he is at times defeated by the cornier lines and a frankly bizarre voice-over narration. What’s it doing there? Apart from spewing out mixed metaphors like a dictionary in a wood chipper it serves no purpose whatsoever.

The plot kind of lurches along. A couple of times in the film Jason and Jennifer will have an argument so the film can skip over a couple of weeks – and a few key plot developments along the way – until they meet again and we can go into the next bit.

Actually the people who should be most outraged by The Switch are those concerned with the impact of movies on our society. They should worry less about violence and worry more about the potential bad influence of romantic comedies. If people ever start following some of the examples set by this genre all hell could break lose. Ever since Fred Astaire started stalking Ginger Rodgers – watch Top Hat and wonder why she doesn’t just call the police – this genre had always seen the most shocking behaviour rewarded. And now we have Jason Bateman, in his own words, ‘hijacking’ Jennifer Aniston’s pregnancy. I mean, at least it’s still pretty difficult to get your hands on a minigun in Ireland, but semen…

Geoff McEvoy

Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)
The Switch
is released on 3rd september 2010

The Switch Official Website

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