Horrible Bosses 2 (15/R, 108 mins)
Director: Sean Anders
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
The law of diminishing returns for comedy sequels comes into effect with this grim retread that once again stars Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day as a trio of hopeless friends who turn to crime when their luck deserts them. After the events of the first movie they’ve quit their jobs with the intention of running their own company and have invented a shower device, the demonstration of which on a chat show makes for a very early example of just what level of coarseness this return is going to be reaching for. When a flashy businessman (Chris Pine) and his father (Christoph Waltz) go back on a deal, they decide to kidnap and ransom Pine and, to no one’s surprise they're even worse kidnappers than they are murderers - they were dim in the first film, but they surely weren’t this dim. You can 100% guarantee that Day and Sudeikis will behave like morons, with every plot point driven by their idiocy, and it soon becomes tiresome. It’s thoroughly undisciplined, with people just allowed to talk until one of them hopefully says something funny, which is very rarely the case. Paying no regard to logic, which again can be overlooked if the laughs are plentiful enough, the series has gone from pretty funny to pretty much a laugh free zone. Quite the most remarkable cast is topped up with a visit to Bateman’s old boss in prison (Kevin Spacey), while Jennifer Aniston returns to lash on the crudity. A relaxed Bateman does his low-key exasperation while Day screams every line in deeply wearying style, and in the end it’s far closer to headache-inducing than funny.