- on Friday, 20 February 2015 14:53
- by Frank Wilkins
What’s the hallmark trait of a movie sequel that has nothing to offer? No, not semen sight gags, silly. Although there are plenty of those in Hot Tub Time Machine 2, we were going for acid trip. After all, what better way to kill off large chunks of vacant runtime than by featuring characters who ingest psychotropic substances and muddle about the film aimlessly. It kind of takes our mind off just how bad the film is, right?
Wrong. The problem with Hot Tub Time Machine 2 isn’t so much that it is not a very good movie. We expected that going in. The first one certainly wasn’t Oscar-worthy material but it did unexpectedly catch us a bit off guard. 2 fails by forgetting those very things that made the original successful. Gone are the fun little bits of 80’s nostalgia and its unexpected charm, replaced by crude and off-putting humor that is neither funny nor entertaining.
But the sequel’s biggest problem is with just how atrociously bad it is… and that no one involved ever realized it. Cue the obligatory hallucinogenic drug scene. Were the film able to muster even an occasional laugh or to provide any amount of interest, perhaps we wouldn’t sit in silence stewing on its tasteless, humorless tendencies. Cue the semen sight gags.
As the film opens, we’re in the not-too-distant future of 2025 where we learn that Rob Corddry’s Lou and Craig Robinson’s Nick are enjoying the high-life, having struck it rich with inventions they knew would become big in the future. Lou invented the mega-search-engine Louggle – based on Google, while Nick is famous as a songwriter of hit songs that haven’t been written yet. Jacob (Clark Duke), Lou’s son, failed to take advantage of the benefits of time travel, so he’s his father’s butler. I know. Funny, right?
When Lou is mysteriously shotgunned in the crotch by an unknown assailant while partying in his mansion, the hot tub trio decides that traveling back a few days will give them enough time to stop Lou’s killer.
So, why do they end up in the future? Chevy Chase’s character explains the error in a ridiculously throw-away cameo that adds little to the plot and makes even less sense. Part of the film’s “cleverness” is supposed to come from the fact that no one gives a damn whether any of it makes sense. Instead it just feels careless and lazy. Regardless, they wind up ten years in the future where the most creative gags director Steve Pink and screenwriter Josh Heald can come up with are hoverboards, men who wear skirts, and driverless cars that tap into human emotions. Way to stretch the bounds of creativity, guys.
Anyway, Nick, Lou, and Jacob set sights on finding Adam – who was played in the original by John Cusack – before quickly deciding that Adam’s son, played by Adam Scott will do. Wait, why exactly did they give up the search for Adam? Oh well, who cares? That’s being clever, remember? Our trio spends the remainder of the film buzzing around New Orleans with groom-to-be Adam Jr. in tow getting into trouble on a futuristic game show that features virtual gay sex and the aforementioned obligatory drug sequence. This is all as outlandishly stupid as it sounds, made even more ridiculous by the fact that none of it is entertaining nor funny. In fact, its middle act is downright boring. A certain death sentence to any comedy.
Done right, rude humor can be funny. Done wrong and you end up with Hot Tub Time Machine 2 which is nothing more than a one-joke premise taken too far. And no, constant references to better time travel films like Looper and Back to the Future do not necessarily make you self-aware or clever. Done like this, they make you desperate. Abject crudeness can sometimes be offset by carefully-crafted characters that we give a damn for. None of these are that. Who ever imagined a film would need John Cusack so badly?
MPAA Rating: R for crude sexual content and language throughout, graphic nudity, drug use and some violence.
Runtime: 93 mins
Director: Steve Pink
Writer: Josh Heald
Cast: Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke
Tagline: Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Memorable Movie Quote: "Ever since I wrote Let's Get it Started back in '86, I've been on a roll."
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Official Site: http://hottubmovie.tumblr.com/
Release Date: February 20, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: No details available.
Synopsis: Nick (Craig Robinson) and Jacob (Clark Duke) use the time traveling hot tub to try and get back to the past after Lou (Rob Corddry) gets in trouble, but they inadvertently end up ten years in the future, which they must alter if they want to save their present-day environment.
No details available.