“Hot Tub Time Machine 2” is another funny round of time travel via hot tub. This sequel to the 2010 comedy film has plenty of laughs. John Cusack, who played Adam in the first movie, is not here for round 2, but Adam Scott takes his place by portrayting Adam Jr.–the child of John Cusack’s character.
For those wondering how Adam Scott is able to portray the son of a character that was played by John Cusack (Scott is 41 and Cusack is 48), that is because Jacob (Clark Duke), Nick (Craig Robinson), and Lou (Rob Corrdry) all travel to the year 2025 this time. Unbeknownst to them, the hot tub has the ability to go forward in time, so they are are stunned when they discover that they traveled to the future even though they were trying to go to the past.
The reason the three men were trying to travel to the past was to prevent an assassination attempt against Lou in the present, so they aren’t sure what to do when they get to the future. That is when Chevy Chase’s repairman character shows up and informs them that the hot tub transports them to the era that they need to be in and not the era that they think they need to be in. The trio have no clue why they were sent forward to 2025 to stop a murder taking place in 2015. They quickly decide to locate future Adam, who they believe can help them figure out how to solve the mystery. Rather than Adam, they discover his adult son instead. They recruit him as their guide through the world of 2025.
While I disagree with Fanboys Examiner Jim Dixon’s review entitled ‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2’ a waste of time trip, I thought he made some good observations. For instance, he wrote “Chevy Chase appears as the hot tub repairman from the first movie, in only one scene. More would have helped.” I too could not understand why Chevy Chase was only in the movie for a brief, inexplicable scene. It was a complete waste of talent, and it diminished the importance of his character.
Another thing Dixon pointed out as problematic for him was how much the movie borrowed from “Back to the Future Part 2.” I did not notice this while watching the film, but after he wrote that I realized it did borrow a lot from “Back to the Future Part 2.” The characters compare the events in the movie to time travel in the “Terminator” movies so often that I didn’t make the “Back to the Future” connections. Personally, I have no problem with the movie borrowing from elements of the “Back to the Future” movies, because they were well done and the “Hot Tub Time Machine” movies are original enough that they can take a little from here and there. The characters in this second film are very explicit in their dialogue that they are ripping off elements of other time travel movies, so the film isn’t being underhanded in any way. I thought it was funny, but other people might find it redundant.
In my own observations, I enjoyed that the 2025 of the movie is a hilarious commentary on the 2015 of today. Christian Slater, as the host of the fictional 2025 TV show “Choozy Doozy,” is the perfectly morbid host of a grim, reality TV show. While reality TV in 2015 and before has been accused of being tacky or exhibitionist, the reality TV of 2025 is on a whole other level of extreme lewdness. On “Choozy Doozy,” an audience member chooses something for a contestant on the show to do, but the audience member must also do the same act. Basically, if you “choozy” you must also “doozy.” I won’t reveal what happens on “Choozy Doozy” in the movie, because that would be too much of a spoiler, but it is far more obscene than anything on today’s reality TV shows. It did make me wonder how extreme reality TV will end up being ten years from now and what TV shows will be allowed to get away with before long. In the film, Slater’s character asks Lou, who is unnerved by “Choozy Doozy,” if he thinks he’s from 2010. 2015 is a lot closer to 2010 than it is to 2025, and this part of the movie may end up proving itself to be prescient with time.
I give “Hot Tub Time Machine 2 “a 3 star rating. It wasn’t a bad film for a person whose goal is simply to watch it for a chuckle. The four main cast members all have comedic talent. Even with the loss of Cusack, Scott is so good at screwball comedy that he makes up for it. And once you get to the end, it leaves the impression that there is more time travel to come in a possible future movie. Only, the next time around, similar to “Back to the Future Part 3,” it will take place far in the past.