The third-greatest scourge of the earth, right after online comments sections and bedbugs, is the unfunny comedy sequel, which may be why you think you should skip Horrible Bosses 2. The miraculous surprise is that Horrible Bosses 2 isn't terrible at all. It's looser, breezier, more confident than its predecessor. The first movie's big poke in the ribs was that Jennifer Aniston, America's sweetheart, was actually saying "cock" and "boner," a concept that was probably funnier when it was still just a concept. Aniston reappears here, having expanded her repertoire of things you shouldn't say in polite or even impolite company, but somehow she's funnier this time, not just in on the joke but integral to it.
Horrible Bosses 2 riffs on the "What could possibly go wrong?" rhetoric that's as old as comedy itself. Everything that could does. Having freed themselves from the employers who'd squelched their joie de vivre in the first movie, Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) have launched their own business, but high-powered biz guy Bert Hanson (an endearingly sinister Christoph Waltz) cheats them. To retaliate, they hatch a plan to kidnap his grown son, hail-fellow-well-met asshole Rex (Chris Pine, who makes an excellent eyelash-fluttering boy-man sociopath).
The film works because it's filled with curlicues rather than all-out gags. The three leads are less funny for big comedy moments than for just how they are: Their petty aggravations, their up-front eye rolling, their ludicrous malapropisms -- not to mention their furtive communications via pink toy walkie-talkies -- add up to a kind of mad, Three Stooges–style bonhomie. They can't get along with one another, but you can't imagine them apart.