When the 2010 comedy Hot Tub Time Machine hit theaters it was an unexpected hit. The film sports a ridiculous premise that most figured woulnd’t work, but to most surprise it worked with hilarious results. It came as no surprise that they decided to move forward with the aptly titled sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2, but with all the original cast returning except for John Cusack is it a story worth traveling for or will it be a future best left alone?
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 follows Nick and Jacob fire up the hot tub time machine in an attempt to get back to the past to help Lou who finds himself in dire trouble, but instead inadvertently land in the future with Adam Jr. Now they have to alter the future in order to save the past – which is really the present. As mentioned, this entry brings all the cast back including Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, and Chevy Chase with Adam Scott and Gillian Jacobs joining this time around. There are some really funny moments here, but it just never packs the full punch from the first film. The 80s nostalgia of the original film brought a fun charm to it all making for some great moments, whereas this entry takes things into the future forcing it to rely on attempting to be clever. Prior to them heading through the time machine again the film struggles and feels forced. Once they set out on their time travel adventure it finds its footing a bit better, but never fully delivers the same magic as the first film. They pushed the envelope in numerous cases with the R rating respectfully, which made for some really hilarious moments. Everyone here is clearly having a lot of fun which does help the overall film, but doesn’t always save each scene. Anytime a film heads into the future it is always intriguing to see what that particular vision of the future is going to be and here they took on numerous clichéd aspects while also bringing some fun and originality to it. Despite some of the shortcomings of the film when it works it is pretty funny and a lot of fun. All the original cast mesh together like they never left and Adam Scott steps in to bring his strange character to life.
Like most films that didn’t really need a sequel this one can’t quite live up to the nostalgic brilliance of the original, but does offer up its own laughs and fun. There are some pretty messed up directions it goes that may throw some off just due to the forced nature, but on the flip side some will find it really funny. This sequel offers up a fun new angle to the original story, but go in and let it be what it is and do not expect to have the same personal nostalgic laughs that the original offered up.