Monthly Archives: December 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Thou shalt find this a long film

Ahhhh religion! They love breeding fanatics and fanatics love starting wars. Of course; all that is quietly ignored whilst you’re pompously told how tolerant and peaceful they are hoping that you will ignore science and logic and put your blind faith in mystical beardy man in the sky. Obviously it’s totally fine if you don’t believe this fantasy novel is real… totally fine… you’ll just burn in hell you fucking heathen.

Well. That’s the religious readers suitably offended but hey, they haven’t seen Exodus yet; at least my mocking of religion is satirical.

So it turns out that Moses isn’t an Egyptian prince he’s actually a Hebrew, waves part, he frees slaves, 10 commandments are written. Oops: spoilers! Anyway back to the point of satire because on reflection Exodus has a venomous but subtle exploration of religion as a subtext. I’m not sure if this is even intended but there is no aspect of this film that promotes the positive things that religion can bring to one’s life. The Egyptian’s believe their faith allows them to enslave other races and Moses’ god is quite frankly a bit of an menacing a-hole by bringing suffering to hundreds/thousands in order to achieve his own goals. A bit like a dictatorship really!

So if your faith is so weak that you can’t take criticism you probably want to avoid this film, sit in a dark room and chant that the power of Christ compels you. It’s an interesting dynamic and most likely has been added in because of a line early in the film stating that israelite means those who wrestle with god. That’s exactly what Moses does with God, or rather the messenger of God in this film and precisely for the reasons stated above; Gods methods are objectionable.

Religious connotations aside, it is an acceptable imagining of the trials of Moses in the same way that Robin Hood was an acceptable imagining of that legend. Ridley Scott has been on a run of lackluster films recently and it’s not for a lack of technical ability. Similar to Robin Hood, and indeed Prometheus, the acting, lighting, art direction, cinematography, action sequences, editing, sound design are all fantastic in Exodus but at the same time the film is just quite dull.

It’s too long for a start and it does drag. It also tries to fit too much in. It starts beautifully and establishes Moses firmly as a commander and Prince of Egypt but once eschewed and exiled as a Hebrew he becomes a farmer in 10 minutes flat, gets married in 2 minutes and leaves to free the slaves 5 minutes later, which leaves very little time to build any supporting characters but makes you care as little as a breaking news piece about how the weather forecast is drizzly rain in England, again.

In fact it’s not just the goat farming scene that drops supporting characters. Sir Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver and Aaron Paul are all in this film but they are made so irrelevant you could replace them with any excess Christmas dinner and you’d still have a coherent film.

Apart from the staples of all Scott’s films there are a couple of aspects worth noting. Firstly the world building is almost second to none. Egypt really does look exactly how you would imagine ancient Egypt; expansive, dusty yet lined with lush foliage along the river, epic architecture splattered across the land to inspire a nation. It goes further than that though. The scale and population makes the world feel alive with activity.

Another aspect of the film which is notably excellent is the costume design which is so tactile you could reach out and eat whatever is draped over almost any character in the film.

In short the film definitely has all the hieroglyphs of an epic of biblical proportions but in the end the film suffers from a number of plagues: it’s too long, it’s too dull in places and it’s supporting cast floating down the Nile without a paddle.

Go See

  • Standard, well produced, Ridley Scott film
  • Brings Egypt to life
  • Superb costume design

Avoid

  • If you are Christian
  • It’s long
  • The middle of the film drags

Overall

3-stars

Dumb and Dumber To

Dumb and Disappointing Too

“Pullover! Pullover!”
“No, it’s a cardigan. But thanks for noticing.”
To this day I still laugh at this line from the original Dumb & Dumber. That movie was an absolute classic and like many people I remember it fondly. It’s natural to meet any sequel with an imbued skepticism because they often fall short of the original and this is especially true when the original is a classic.

Let’s just shatter any dreams of grandeur right out the gate; this is nowhere near as good as the first one. That said there are a good few laughs to be had along the way and probably more so if you don’t hold the original on a pedestal. Unfortunately I do.

It’s really great that they have brought back lots of charters from the original and have tried to weave in aspects of the original to provide a coherent story. This interweaving of stories is done somewhat successfully but I believe that this has also hampered this film because it heavily relies on nostalgia rather than providing a new adventure.

Part of the problem is that Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) are trying to be exactly the same as original. Trying being the key word here because some of the goofiness feels all too forced. I think this is mainly because the actors are a lot older now but the characters they play have not developed. It’s as if no life experiences have happened in the last twenty years so the comedy, particularly at the start, feels awkward like watching bad dancing at a wedding.

To it’s credit it does try to deal with the non-existent character development by kicking off the film with Lloyd sitting in a mental institution for 20 years after loosing Mary Swanson in the original film. All this turns out to be a frankly unfunny and utterly dumb prank. One of the dumbest things I remember doing is putting my hand on one larger railing and using it to push off/side kick/vault over a smaller rail next to the larger one and land gracefully on the other side. All that happened was a landed arse first on the small rail and proceeded to crumple into a heap on the floor. Dumb, but no-where near as dumb as a 20 year setup for a prank.

There is a massive payoff at the end of the film that references this 20 year prank that is pretty clever and one of the funnier moments of the film. In fact, the whole film gets better and funnier as it nears it’s conclusion. Unfortunately – and this is true for a lot of films – the trailer shows too much which let’s you know the setup or the punchline to many of the gags.

The gags are perhaps the only thing that has changed between the two films and whilst it’s not a deal breaker they have changed for the worst. If you look on IMDB the succinct plot summary for the original states “The cross-country adventures of two good-hearted but incredibly stupid friends.” In this film they are not good-hearted at all, in fact they are positively malicious which destroys a lot of the charm of the original.

Before I saw this film I wondered if the original was a film of it’s time and whether we have no place for such a stupid comedy but then I remembered that we seem to praise stupidity by glorifying idiots look Joey Essex or Paris Hilton. After seeing the film I realise that this isn’t the innocently stupid comedy you wanted it’s a labored and brash comedy that tries to be stupid in the name of nostalgia. It has its moments, and is no way near the worst comedy of the year, but it is a dumb sequel to a stupidly fun original.

Go See

  • Contains a number of decent laughs
  • Pay off to the 20 years prank is well worked
  • If you are desperate to see a sequel to the original no matter what

Avoid

  • If the original is revered to you
  • If you prefer your comedies with subtlety and intellegance
  • If you are looking for a hapless comedy of situations

Overall

3-stars

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

New museum, old ideas

The first Night at the Museum was good fun. It effectively plays out like a live action version of Toy Story. The second film lost all the charm of the first film by focusing more on the characters that have come to life and not the magic of things coming to life.

The third installment re-visits this essential part of the formula. The power that enables the museum to come to life , a power held within a magic tablet, starts to wain. In order to stop the tablet from losing all its power; Larry (Ben Stiller) must consult the Egyptian creators who happen to be on display in the British Natural History Museum.

Now I’m not a curator at the Museum but it didn’t look like anything I remember from my last visit. But who cares, this is a fantasy adventure film not a documentary, no need to grumble.

What you could grumble about though is the the lack of original ideas. You have a brand new museum in which we’ve already figured out it’s not based on the real one, so this becomes your blank canvass for almost anything ever in history, myth and legend.

What we are treated to instead is a pastiche of the original bringing to life Lancelot, the famous knight of the round table, a dinosaur that just wants to play fetch and act like a puppy and various other inanimate objects such as statues coming to life in an ambivalent way. That’s all fine I guess, and it was entertaining enough as it is, but I wanted it to evoke a stronger sense of awe and wonder similar to what you experience as a child when seeing mysterious creatures in a museum for the first time.

There were a couple of times the film hinted at such things the first being a room full of broken sculptures that had missing heads or arms trying to move about the hall. As the script rightly dictates it’s all rather creepy and mimics a real life experience in a museum – they can be a bit creepy! The next time we get to see this is when the characters fall inside an MC Escher painting – haven’t we all wondered what it would be like to walk up some stair only to find you are on a wall and turning a corner means you are upside down whilst simultaneously looking at the ceiling which is also a floor/window/wall?!

What we are left with is a really great portrayal of Lancelot played by Dan Stevens and a triceratops that needs taming. I’m really pleased that Dan Stevens is allowed to shine in this movie as one of his last major roles I saw him in was The Guest I wrote a line in my previous review that ended up getting cut but went along the lines that Stevens is a promising actor but is held back by the rest of that film.

Alongside Stevens it was really good to see Robin Williams revive the role of Teddy Roosevelt in what has unfortunately become one of his last ever films. He plays the role with such a charm that you’d have to be a miserable human being to not enjoy the character.

The absolute worst part about the film for me was Ricky Gervais who played err Ricky Gervais I guess and Rebel Wilson who plays generic, mouthy, fat, self aware security woman. It’s a shame because there is actually a lot of subtlety to most of the characters in the film, so much so that I found the rough characteristics of the above detracts from the film.

As it is the film is decent enough and outshines the second installment in the series. There isn’t enough magic or depth to fully appeal to an older audience, such as my cranky self, but as a family film or light entertainment it’s pretty good and worth a watch.

Go See

  • Robin Williams
  • Dan Stevens as Lancelot
  • Fun for all the family

Avoid

  • Not enough imagination in the new museum
  • Ricky Gervais and Rebel Wilson seem a bit out of place
  • Feels a bit too similar to the first film

Overall

3-stars

 

2014 in Words & Stuff

IMG_0343

Everything has a ‘best of’ round up now. It’s honestly getting tired, cliche and mostly irrelevant… so without further ado here’s my top 10 list of films from 2014!!

This is based on the films I’ve personally seen and based on UK release dates. There are a couple of films that I didn’t see that I wish I had such as ’71 and Boyhood but hey I am a one man band here doing this in my spare time. Also, you may notice that the top 10 included films I rated lower than other films that I have omitted from the top ten and that’s because you need time to properly reflect on what a film is and how much impact it has on you. Who knows, if I were to write this list next year it may be wildly different.

Anyway, special consideration goes to:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier; I had this in my top 5 but after watching it again I noticed some of the flaws – you need to have watched some of the other Marvel films to properly understand the films nuances. That said; it is still the Cap film you always wanted and I still love it.

Chef: An original concept with a great soundtrack but didn’t pull at myheartstrings enough to be top 10.

Dallas Buyers Club: Great performances all round but is not a film I could see myself watching again, at least not in a hurry.

Edge of Tomorrow: A surprise hit with Tom Cruise putting in his best performance in many years, and interesting concept and great visuals – feels like a computer game.

Godzilla: Another surprisingly well done film but a bit too slow to be considered for the top 10.

Lone Survivor: Yes Lone Survivor. If not for the brutality of it then definitely for the brutality of it. Did I mention it’s quite brutal?

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom: Idris Elba portrays Nelson Mandela. Need I say more?

Paddington: One of the most charming films this year which is superbly animated but a bit too much of Disney family film vibe to creep into the top 10 for me.

Pride: A powerful rallying drama displaying the downtrodden nature of LGBT and mining community during Thatcherite Britain

The Raid 2: You haven’t seen epic fight scenes until you have seen the Raid 2. Although there is not much more to the film it is absolutely an instant cult classic.

X-Men: Days of Future Past: Manages to merge all previous X-Men films with surprising grace. Also the slow motion scene with Quicksilver is my possibly my favourite scene of any film this year.

10. The Imitation Game

This film is no way near perfect but it’s a lovely eulogy to a man who practically invented the thing that I am tapping away at right now: the computer. Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Alan Turing is supremely good and it’s so sad to learn about the ingratitude and lack of appreciation for such a brilliant man.

9. The Grand Budapest Hotel

A fantastically quirky and bizarre independent movie. Crammed full of charm and clever dialogue it’s one of the weirdest movies I’ve seen this year. It’s a film that should be a B movie but truly punches above it’s weight. Supported by an impressive cast this novel film is worth a watch.

8. Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal is transformed in one of the freakiest portrayals of humanity displayed on the big screen for a long time. You are made to feel like a voyeur as you witness the pathalogical drive of Gyllenhaal’s character impose himself on those around him whilst lacking any empathy. th scary thing is that he is also a clever man, someone who truly is a dictator in the making given half a chance!

7. How to Train Your Dragon 2

I’m almost tempted to put this at number 3 I love this movie so much. It’s the story of a boy and his overgrown puppy trying to defend defending their family from a bunch rottweilers. If you swap ‘puppy’ with ‘cool ass dragon’ and ‘rottweiler’ with ‘massive bloody dragons’ that perfectly sums up this film. It builds on the first film to make a perfect sequal but also manages to walk the line between kids film and adults film. The animation and actions scenes are a joy yet still finds time to reflect on family values, love, friendship, morals and instincts. It really is good.

6. 12 Years a Slave

Oh boy. What a film. It’s so powerful I would have walked out as angry as the incredible hulk if it wasn’t for the fact that I was emotionally battered for a couple of hours. You don’t need me to tell you that the acting, production and story is superb because it won numerous awards from last year – it was released in the USA in November of last year. Perhaps it’s a little cheeky adding it to this year but, hey I saw it in January and it’s damn good.

5. The Lego Movie

I like this film less than How to Train Your dragon 2 because it’s like being inside the fever dream of a schizophrenic. The thing is, it’s such a novel idea that the premise alone earns it extra kudos – then of course, there is the Everything is Awesome song! The film somehow manages to bundle up the imagination and joy of your youth and represent it flawlessly on film whilst bringing such a wide range of eccentric characters to life. It’s awesome!

4. Gone Girl

I don’t want to say too much about this film if you haven’t seen it. What I will say is that I didn’t see the plot twist coming. It turns what you expect from a thriller on it’s head and it does the same with gender stereotypes. My mouth was never wider in 2014 than when I was watching this film!

3. Interstellar

Christopher Nolan does science fiction. That’s that fully justified!

2. Guardians of the Galaxy

No film in this list merges visuals and story with music and audio as well as Guardians does. It’s not so much a superhero movie as it is a sci-fi film but it has all the charm and hooks of the original star wars trilogy. If you don’t fall in love with Rocket or Groot then your parents never loved you. Mix in a domineering villain, open questions about character histories and motivation and you are left feeling that 2 hours simply isn’t long enough. Roll on the sequel and long may Marvel’s winning streak continue.

1. Wolf of Wall Street

Choosing between this and Guardians is like trying to choose between winning £10 million on the lottery and being given £10 million by an anonymous donor! I think the reason I love this so much is because it’s like listening to your best friend recant his best stories from University. Surely… surely these things didn’t happen? But they are based on a true story. Some may argue that we shouldn’t glamourise the life of someone who screwed people out of money – sure, perhaps – but as a film it’s not stop entertainment. The pacing, cinematography, acting, lighting, story, charactisation etc etc is sheer perfection. This is a rare 5 out of 5 movie for me.

There you have it. Some super awesome films. Of course not every film has been super awesome, there has been some pond slime thrown at multiplexes in the hope of collecting dollar money:

Grudge Match: They may of well have gone full retard and called the main characters Brocky and Jack La Moto because this was clearly made by someone with a hard on for Rocky and Raging Bull. If this was handled in a similar manner to The Wrestler then it might have worked but it’s more like a teen drama starring 60 year olds.

Noah: If there is any film that makes you want to go medieval and round up all the bibles and burn them in a pagan ceremony then this film is it. Actually that’s not fair it’s a film about a deranged c-unit of a man who built a boat and survived when he should of drowned in the first 20 minutes of the film to spare us from the tsunami of bullshit that was this film.

The Guest: I feel kinda bad for hating on this film as it started off quite good. It could have been Drive part 2. Trouble is it turns into a Scooby Doo mystery with a soundtrack that can only be described as ‘broken down car in the 80’s’.

Tammy, Sex Tape, A Million Ways to Die in the West in fact almost every comedy this year: I love comedies. There is something so primal about laughing your tits off and even more so when doing it around other people it brings hours/days of joy. With that in mind I was a miserable bastard this year. I was overwhelmed with how many underwhelming films there were this year. Sure, none of them sank to the shambolic depths that was Grown Ups 2 last year: “hahahaha a deer pissed on his face! herr de herrr de heerp”. No. Kill yourself. I don’t care how you do it but you shouldn’t be laughing at such wretched imagery that is akin to ocular roadkill. Rant over. Most of the so-called comedies this year were OK as films, nothing particularly awful… just not that funny!

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

And then it continued…

I never excelled at English during my GCSEs; I couldn’t tell the difference between a noun and a pro-nounce and I sure as hell couldn’t tell you how to adverb. What I do vaguely remember is that it was frowned upon to start a sentence with the word ‘and’.

And whilst I’d normally agree with that rule; there are a few occasions where it works – this sentence not included. I think this rule also applies to films, not just written literature, but this is exactly what the third hobbit does.

The film starts off in the middle of the battle between the humans and Smaug – the dragon under the mountain – as he lays waste to the nearby lake town of Esgaroth. The fact this film starts half way through an action sequence is probably the strongest evidence that this trilogy didn’t need to be drawn out over three films.

It’s a really odd thing to do and fucks the pacing of the film from the very start. Don’t get me wrong, the sequence is visually impressive and seeing Smaug raze the town is awesome in the classical sense of the word. After the fight everything slows right down as it builds towards the actual battle of five armies.

The Hobbit is actually one of the few books I have read that have been converted to film and the book has a similar pacing issue when Smaug is slain somewhere near the middle of the book and you are left thinking “oh?! is that it? I’ve still got 80 pages left though”. So when you are taking artistic license in the film by wedging in Lord of the Rings characters in order to link the 2 trilogies why not address this obvious pacing issue that is present in the book?

The fact that you are dropped into the film mid paragraph as it were also forces new comers to the series to be as lost as flight MH370. Why is this dragon wasting this town? why does he seem to know about the humans and some mountain? why is this dwarf injured and this other dwarf so moody? To be honest, I watched the first 2 films and I still struggled to put together what was happening for the first 10 minutes.

Thankfully the film doesn’t ever drag it’s heels. There is always something going on to progress the plot. It has all the hallmarks of it’s predecessors so you can expect some decent action scenes, it’s well shot, it has evocative soundtrack, big trolls, some quirky humour and most importantly it still has Ian McKellen as Gandalf.

One of the best parts in the film is the final battle between Azog and Thorin which is set on a frozen lake and provides an interesting landscape to end the bitter rivalry between the two. The sequence comes after about an hour long battle sequence which does start to get tiring towards the end.

If you take a holistic view the trilogy you can identify three distinct sections that could be trimmed to give two better, more focused films; the meeting at Bilbo’s house in the first film, the Benny Hill running away from Smaug in the second film and the final battle in the third film.

The characters and plot lines that have been shoe-horned into the film in order to link the two trilogies are actually fine in my eyes. Sure it doesn’t follow the book word for word but it arguably brings the cinematic universe together in a more coherent manner than the books did.

It’s a Peter Jackson high fantasy film based on a Tolkein novel. That’s almost all you need to know about this film. It follows the book slightly more closely than the second film but less so than the first. It certainly is good yet it doesn’t push the boundaries by doing anything particularly different. This may be a turnoff if you feel you have seen it before but if you love the previous films you’ll likely love this one.

Go See

  • Very well produced film
  • Entertaining action sequences
  • Links the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies

Avoid

  • If you haven’t seen the first 2 Hobbit films
  • Nothing particularly new
  • Could have been done in 2 films

Overall

3-5-stars

Penguins of Madagascar

Because Fuck Logic

Penguins. The mere thought of them brings my girlfriend to tears. Not just any old tears though – these ones are sparkly, rainbow gummy tears of sheer over-excited joyful cuteness.

Whilst I didn’t particularly enjoy Madagascar, and because of which never paid much attention to the sequels, I knew I’d be watching this film as soon as I heard it was in production. Thankfully, I enjoyed this a lot more than Madagascar. In fact I really enjoyed it.

The film is unabashedly crazy. It reminds me of childhood where your imagination bitch slapped logic back into your parents room: sure Batman can hang out with Michaelangelo to save the space Lego men from the evil Playdough monster… why wouldn’t they?

From the very opening scenes Skipper, Kowalski and Rico let go of logic by leaving the waddle of penguins to rescue Private who is at this point a run away egg heading for certain doom.

Logic is then firmly left at the door as they escape a circus and break into Fort Knox to buy some cheese dibbles (basically Cheetos or Wotsits) because why not, right?

It’s here that we meet the films bad guy and that logic is fucking trebucheted into another continent. John Malkovich provides some brilliant voice acting for Dave the octopus who, like a mimic octopus, can change colour and shape to look like a human. I couldn’t help but giggle at the bonkers way that he moved around. Legs wrapping around his back then untwisting his whole body to step forward-ish whilst arms are failing around. It was whole heartedly stupid but go with it and it’s a lot of fun to watch.

Dave and his minions of octopi provide a lot of the physical comedy which doesn’t ever get tiring to watch. This aspect of the film is never better than in the early chase scene in Venice which is ridiculous on a scale that is comparable to the Lego Movie. what’s great is that this is not the only place the film finds it’s comedy.

There are a number of dynamite puns scattered throughout the film such as Skipper catching a sock over his head in the Venice and stating that he has been Venetian blinded again or with Dave ordering his subjects around: “Nicholas! Cage those penguins” and “Helen! Hunt them down”. I laughed more than I should.

If you have seen the penguins in the first Madagascar you get more of the same. Skipper’s complete headstrong launch into plan A without actually having a plan A, Kowalski’s genius but morbid honesty, Rico’s ability to eat anything yet inability to say anything and Private’s unappreciated deft button pressing ability and cuteness is consistently well done and again keeps the film a lot of fun throughout.

As you’d expect from a Dreamworks picture the animation is of a high quality so as not to disappoint but there is nothing revolutionary about it. Although they aren’t pushing the boat out it doesn’t matter because the film is all about embracing craziness and embrace crazy it does!

Apart from this minor gripe the only part of the film that was slightly disappointing was the North Wind who are basically the G.I. Joes of this universe and are made up of a seal, an owl, a bear and a wolf. Obviously!

The bear must have been based on my girlfriend because he too found the penguins relentlessly adorable which really tickled me and the leader of the North Wind (the wolf) also worked well by being both frustrated and entirely dismissive of Skipper’s amateurish behaviour. Outside these two characters you’d almost forget the North Wind also contains a parrot and a sea lion… or was it an owl and..? Ah who cares.

If you can suspend your disbelief for a couple of hours and regress into childhood again (not too far mind – soiling yourself in the cinema is usually a no-no) then you’ll fully enjoy the crazy LSD trip/film but if you are looking for a more serious and meaningful animation you might just want to kick back in front of the TV with a pack of Cheese Dibbles! #c-c-crunchhhh#

Go See

  • Physical comedy is great
  • Makes no logical sense
  • Just a whole lot of fun

Avoid

  • Not as touching as other animations (Finding Nemo etc)
  • Not really pushing the animation
  • Some fully forgettable side characters

Overall

4-stars

Horrible Bosses 2

Development Review Needed

In one of my first jobs I worked in WHSmith as a general Sales Assistant. I was on the “Media” counter and I vividly remember getting all new stock priced up and shelved in good time. On my own impetus I would go into the stock room and replenish empty shelves with current stock and where I could, put out a load of old stock in the hope that we could get rid of excess.

That was my area done. I then went to the stock room on the other side of the shop and started replenishing the stationary, and the cards, and the printer toner the magazines. That was someone else’s area done. After I had done all of that I’d sit around and have a chat.

So when I got pulled in to a meeting with my boss who told me that “other staff has mentioned that you are not doing any work and just chatting instead” I wondered how much trouble I’d get in if I stabbed everyone within a 5 mile radius with a rusty shovel… probably quite a lot.

In my opinion only a few people were actually doing work and everyone else was just sort of ambling by. That’s kind of how I see Horrible Bosses 2. There were a few of the cast members who were actually funny and the rest were indifferent.

Kevin Spacey reprises his role as the foul mouthed boss of Jason Bateman, only he is in jail after the events of the first film and it’s fun to see him monologuing at the camera and really going off on one. Jennifer Aniston also reprises her sex-addicted dentist role and manages to swing through her lines fully straight faced.

The main trio of Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day are the focal point of all the comedy but to me this all falls rather flat. Whilst the synergy of the trio is spot on, most of the lines are mildly amusing at best and rely on continued overlapping ramblings as the comedy mechanism. It’s fine for a while but in the end I found it tiring and annoying.

The main story is that the above trio try to start their own company and get screwed over by their main buyer and new boss Christoph Waltz. In order to re-coup their losses they hatch a plan to kidnap Waltz’ son and hold him for ransom, which is a rather unimaginative and disappointing.

I realise the fist film was about murdering their bosses so I should expect stupid ideas but kidnapping for ransom has been done before and done better. Unfortunately Horrible Bosses 2 doesn’t provide any fresh ideas in this respect.

The best part of the film was the rather eccentric Chris Pine with his photoshopped eyes. Seriously, how are they that blue? Might have a little man crush going on. Pine plays Waltz’ son and goes from being a cool and suave boss to a jock to an evil genius to an emotional cry baby to a full on a-hole.

Along with Pine’s character the film, as a whole, get’s better as it goes along with the run up to the ending being the most entertaining part. The crew end up in a car chase that brings fresh ideas to the film, notably jumping past a moving train to avoid the tailing police cars only to realise that they wanted the cops to follow so they reverse back towards the train and wait for it to pass before the action kicks in again.

Ultimately though the laughs are too few and far between to make this a truly memorable comedy. The cinematography is OK, the soundtrack is OK, the script is OK, the acting is OK. The film is OK, it just feels a little under-developed.

Go See

  • Bosses steal the show
  • Still a good chemistry between the main three actors
  • The ending

Avoid

  • Obvious plot devices
  • Overlapping dialogue gets tiring
  • Not many laughs to be had

Overall

3-stars