One Smart Guy vs. Three Idiots: The Theory of Everything vs. Horrible Bosses 2
A very busy/stressful week last week kept me from writing up the thrilling Horrible Bosses 2 review I'm sure you were all on pins and needles waiting for, not being able to continue on with your lives until you got the email update that I had written it... But *now* I have not only seen just that film; but also the Stephen Hawking biopic, The Theory of Everything. Sooooo, I thought I'd group the two movies together into another one of my helpful FAQs, so that you can decide which of these painfully similar films you'd actually like to pay money for. I mean, the screenplays were probably written by the same guy. They're basically companion movies.
I've heard of Horrible Bosses 2 (wipes Cheeto dust from mustache), but what's this Theory of Everything crap?
The Theory of Everything is a biopic of the life of Stephen Hawking, notable wheelchair bound physicist and all around smart guy. It covers his college days, from the beginning of his illness, to -
That sounds boring... You're boring me... Are there any wiener jokes?
Actually yeah, there's one pretty good wiener joke in it.
Wow, ok. But not as many as Horrible Bosses 2?
No, there's more than one wiener joke in Horrible Bosses 2. There's also a couple of lady part jokes, and cheap gay jokes, and uh, probably some other low brow stuff I can't remember as well. I think poo was mentioned at one point.
Is HB2 as good as HB1? Because I liked HB1.
Sadly, it is not. Much like many comedy sequels, they rehash a lot of jokes from the first movie, only in a slightly skewed situation. But unlike something like 22 Jump Street, where they are basically winking at the camera the entire time, HB2 does the same jokes and doesn't wink at the camera. They are just, like, the same jokes because "hahaha, remember when they put a toothbrush up their butts the first movie?! hahaha!" It's not until the gag reel that plays over the credits when Jason Sudeikis literally says aloud, "She probably learned that from the first movie (smirks into camera)", which made me want to punch the theater screen.
Was Theory of Everything as good as the first one?
I don't, uhhh... ...Do you mean My Left Foot?
Umm, yeah, Ok, I guess it was.
How was the acting in these?
The dude who played Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) was, ya know, pretty darn good at doing the disabled actor thing. I got lost in the part, I felt like he was a good representation of Stephen Hawking, not that I knew all that much about his early life before I saw this. The lady who played Hawking's wife (no idea the actress' name) was also really good. She did a performance that kind of can only be appreciated when you look at how she changes in a subtle way over the course of her character's lifetime. I guess Hawking's wife wrote the book for which this film is based, so you get a lot of it through her point of view. It's kind of a nice touch how-
Uh, hello?! What about Horrible Bosses 2?
Whoa, sorry. You're a little interrupty today. Uh, well... Jason Bateman is the all-business straight man from the first movie, Charlie Day is the manic weirdo from the first movie. Sudeikis is the over-confident moron from the first movie. Also, Kevin Spacey yells a lot like in the first one, Jennifer Aniston says vulgar sexual things like in the first one, and Jamie Fox does the same jokes that he did in the first one.
Seems like you have a lot of resentment towards how much this was just a cheap, poorly written copy of the first one... What about the new actors?
I actually liked Chris Pine in it, he looked like he put effort into his role, and was having a lot of fun with it. I always enjoy seeing Christoph Waltz, even if the movie he's in isn't that great, but it seems like anybody not named Quentin Tarantino doesn't know how to actually use the guy correctly in a film yet. But I am looking forward to seeing him as a Bond villain. That seems like a role he was born to play.
Are these movies Oscar bait? They seem like Oscar bait...
I will admit, The Theory of Everything is pretty Oscar bait-y. It has all the overcoming adversity, swirling music, broad touches, and actors doing really good impressions of real people that tend to at least get nominated for awards. I could see it getting a lot of nominations, especially for Redmayne, but it probably won't win anything. The Best Actor category is too stacked to let something as cliche as a guy playing a disability in a biopic actually win. If Redmayne beats Keaton or Gyllenhaal, I'll probably be upset. Because I mean, no one is going to remember this movie five years from now, or Redmayne's performance. But I'll probably watch Birdman and Nightcrawler about 10 more times in the next decade.
I said *these* movies... What about HB2?
Oh yeah, if Horrible Bosses 2 doesn't at least get nominated for Best Picture, I'll stop watching awards shows. I mean, it's at least a shoo in for winning Best Sound Mixing and Best Permanent Marker on a Dry-Erase Board Joke this year (new category).
Are these movies entertaining?
Yeah. Aside from maybe a 5 minute lull in the middle where Hawking's wife is flirting with temptation, I was pretty entertained during Theory of Everything. And to be honest, Horrible Bosses 2 kept just about the bare minimum of quality in which to not make me want to leave the movie, but A LOT of the jokes go on way too long and the whole movie moves at an unfunny pace. But it has something of a very consistent mild amusement. The first scene has some funny moments with Charlie Day that made me outwardly laugh, but after that it was quiet nose chuckles the entire way through.
It didn't help that the trailers probably ruined some of the jokes in HB2, huh?
I think that virtually every scene in the movie, short of the last 15 minutes, was at least somewhat spoiled in the trailer.
So, these are kind of just like formulaic clones of the prototypes for their specific genres?
That's a good way of putting it. Theory of Everything is same old "well, here's my life!" biopic schtick we've all seen a whole bunch of times. And Horrible Bosses 2 is the perfect example of the lazy, cash grab sequel, which we've all also seen a bunch of times.
Do they do *anything* that separates them from what they actually are?
Not in Horrible Bosses 2. That is what it is. But in The Theory of Everything, Hawking spends the entire movie proving and disproving that the universe (or all things ever created) can be traced back to a singular moment in time, or whatnot, and all of humanity is just some unspectacular species living on a random planet surrounding an average star. But then he uses his greatest creation (HIS CHILDREN) as a parallel to how an insignificant human's creation can be traced back through time to a singular moment as well, through a nice little sequence, and it was kind of touching and substantial and stuff. But it takes over two hours to get to that sequence, so yeah.
How did these movies make you feel?
Theory of Everything made me feel pretty stupid, because I have no idea how (and never will know how) they use math to come up with any of that stuff they talk about. At least in one scene they try to explain to universe to us dumb dumbs with a potato and a pea. Thanks for that. And then Horrible Bosses 2 made me feel like a freaking Ivy League professor because these idiots don't hesitate to do the most frustratingly stupid actions in every god damn scene of this entire movie. You will spend the entire time thinking "WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS? NORMAL PEOPLE WOULDN'T BE THAT STUPID." Every. Scene.
Well, what *is* the actual "Theory of Everything"?
(A + D) = (C x B). Trust me. DO THE MATH.
Should I go see these movies?
I wouldn't go see Horrible Bosses 2 if I were you. I liked the first one plenty, and I like all of the actors involved, but I just couldn't bring myself to like the sequel. Please, don't make a third one. But if you're into harmless biopics featuring some good acting, you'll probably enjoy The Theory of Everything.
What scores are you giving these things?
I don't think I ever plan on watching either of these ever again, but I would give The Theory of Everything probably a 7.5 out of 10. It's interesting, but I don't see it having a ton of lasting power. It's not a movie you'd probably watch a whole bunch of times, but it's an enjoyable one-time viewing. No one will probably care about it in a few years. Do you remember The Last King of Scotland? Or The Queen? Or Ray? Or The Iron Lady? Or Frida? Do you remember these movies for being anything but vehicles for one great performance? Do you watch these movies all the time? No? Well, you probably won't with The Theory of Everything, either.
I'll just present Horrible Bosses 2's 5 out of 10 without comment.
One last question... Thanks for answering all my questions.
That wasn't a question.
I knew this was gonna be a classic as soon as I saw the headline. Unlike either of those pictures, you did not disappoint. I rate your reviews Five Toothbrushes, way way up!
Thanks Tim! Not being a disappointment is one of the better compliments I've received lately!