While Reza Rahadian’s performance is such a crown jewel, My Stupid Boss 2 still feels like a compilation of comedy sketch that only partially work.
In 2016, My Stupid Boss was a national box office hit in Indonesia – scoring more than 3,000,000 admissions. Helmed by versatile Indonesian director, Upi Avianto, the oddball comedy adapted from best-selling memoir by Chaos@work received mixed reception upon release. Major praises went to Reza Rahadian who garnered several awards and accolades for his portrayal of the titular goofy boss called Mr. Bossman. Meanwhile, the movie was also hardly criticized for the incoherent plot and the tonal mess.
Upi returns to helm the sequel, which reunites Mr. Bossman with his “loyal” employees, including the protagonist of the first movie, Kerani (Bunga Citra Lestari), Mr. Kho (Chew Kin Wah), Adrian (Iedil Putra replacing Bront Palarae), Norahsikin (Atikah Suhaime) and Azahari (Iskandar Zulkarnaen), who love to hate him. My Stupid Boss 2 begins with an acknowledgement that the company led by Bossman is, undoubtedly, mismanaged. Unhappy employees are resigning, outstanding bills left unpaid and gangster-laden debt collectors start to raid the company; but, Bossman never learns just because.
Basically, My Stupid Boss 2 is the same entity as the predecessor: an incoherent oddball comedy that relies much on Rahadian’s transformative performance. His character is like one of Sacha Baron Cohen’s screen persona, which probably, at points, seems to be deliberately modeled after an amalgamation of them (Try to think of Borat or Aladeen). The movie does not miss any chance to portray the titular character, by any means, as an indeed stupid boss. The plot, if any, is totally dedicated to several comedy sketches portraying Bossman’s personality. Almost all sketches are bound to Bossman’s ostentatious, stingy, stubborn, dimwit, irrational, and simply absurd personality.
Thing is, even when Upi attempts to string up those comedy sketches with a sense of plot; that never actually happens. There seems to be a pattern showing how Bossman lost most of his employees, then flew to Vietnam to find cheap labors only to fuck the plan up from day one, and then returned empty-handed; but, each of them seems to be unrelated and jumpy. There’s an interpolation of a gangster brawl between Indian gangster and Chinese gangster with a fierce pursuit scene in Vietnam, which seems to be fluently orchestrated; the whole scene is funny, but, plot-wise, irrelevant. While the comedy works, mostly because of Rahadian’s charisma, My Stupid Boss 2 is unable to deliver all of them evenly.
With Upi, My Stupid Boss 2 retains the stylized visual traits marked with vibrant costume, bright color palette and proficient camera-work. That visual prowess meets Rahadian should have been a perfect feat to win the game, but the absence of plot seemingly rigged the whole movie down. Only by excusing the movie’s comical nature, we can eventually find this more interesting than the first movie.
My Stupid Boss 2 (2019)
Comedy Directed by: Upi Written by: Upi based on novel series by Chaos@work Starred by: Reza Rahadian, Bunga Citra Lestari, Chew Kin Wah, Atikah Suhaime, Iedil Putra, Alex Abbad, Iskandar Zulkarnaen Runtime: 96 mins