Release date: Feb. 20, 2015
Directed by: Simon Pink
Written by: Josh Heald
Starring: Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Adam Scott, and Chevy Chase
“Hot Tub Time Machine 2” is the sequel that nobody asked for. Yet, somehow, it exists. Even more shockingly, it goes in with no expectations and still manages to disappoint.
The sequel picks up after the events of the first movie, where Lou (Rob Cordry), Nick (Craig Robinson), and Jacob (Clarke Duke) have changed their futures. Lou is now a rock God and founder of Lougle. Nick has become a Grammy winning artist by ripping off every pop song from the 90’s. Jacob is still reeling after finding out he is Lou’s son, the only real way his life has changed. Events are set in motion when Lou is shot, and the boys decide to use the hot tub time machine to go back in time and save him — are you still reading?
Instead, the boys, for some reason, are transported ten years into the future. Enter Chevy Chase for his gratuitous cameo to explain-ish that the hot tub time machine takes them where they need to go. So, into the future they go for an uninspired mission to track down Lou’s killer. This leads them to Adam — err, Adam Jr., played by Adam Scott, who joins the cast as the straight man to the incredibly immature antics of the other time travelers. He plays the son of Cusack’s character from the first film, because apparently Cusack wasn’t invited back. He’s the lucky one.
Scott actually fairs pretty well here, giving the movie temporary energy boost when he decides to skip the final planning stages for his wedding to help track down a futuristic killer. The problem is his character is so unevenly written. He’s like a cross between Cusack’s downbeat sarcasm and Ed Helms over the top performance in any of the “Hangover” sequels. Despite the plot being completely and utterly ridiculous, there are a few good laughs to be found. If you do find yourself laughing, chances are you may not be too proud of yourself. A lot of the humor relies on Robinson and Corrdry improving crude and vulgar insults at each other. You’re more likely to wonder why these guys are friends than you are to care if they succeed.
Obviously the movie isn’t supposed to even come close to anything that is scientifically accurate, but most of what happens is so ridiculous and implausible that it’s hard to get on board, even in a ‘just go with it’ kinda way. But, it’s a comedy. It’s supposed to be funny, right? Most of the time, the jokes really aren’t that inspiring, much less funny. The jokes that do hit the mark run out of steam quickly. Then, there are the endless anal rape jokes. Good times.
In the long sad history of unnecessary sequels, this one just didn’t need to happen. That being said, there was a huge opportunity to really do something fun with the concept. Somehow, director Steve Pink and writer Josh Heald, fail to take advantage of this drunken decision and completely fall asleep at the wheel. It’s not like the first movie was really any good, but there was at least the nostalgic trip back to the 80’s that made it fun. There is just zero fun and/or imagination at play here. The best they could come up with to show how much things have changed in the future is a car the feeds off human emotions. Unfortunately, the best gags are saved for the films closing minutes during a montage of trips through time.
“Hot Tub Time Machine 2” might be a good movie to have on in a frat house while a water bong is being passed around, but ultimately it’s an unfunny, unimaginative, and highly unnecessary money grab sequel.
MPAA rating: R for crude sexual content and language throughout, graphic nudity, drug use and some violence
Running time: 93 minutes