Film Review: Hot Tub Time Machine 2

by Gordon Elgart on February 20, 2015

Did everyone writing this go back in time to when they were nine years’ old?

Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry and Clark Duke, in the funniest scene in Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry and Clark Duke, in the funniest scene in Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Comedy sequels always suck. Like a sketch being brought back on Saturday Night Live, they use the same catch phrases, the same jokes, and oftentimes even the same plot. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is no exception, in that it sucks, but at least it’s different from the original in a few key ways: the star actor (John Cusack) has gone missing, our gang goes into the future instead of the past, and there are way more gross-out jokes. Did I say the changes were good?

The movie starts out well, with a brisk recap of where everyone is after returning from the hot tub. For some reason, Craig Robinson’s Nick Webber has been getting famous, recording some all-time great songs that his character couldn’t possibly know because he didn’t actually stay back in the ’80s in the first movie, but if we’re looking for logic, we’re looking in the wrong movie. Nick Corddry’s Lou is a billionaire mogul, riding on the high on the success of Lougle and Motley Lou, and Clark Duke is now living with him as his son and butler. Shenanigans occur. Time is traveled. Hijinx galore!

The jokes-per-minute is higher here than it was in the previous film. While HTTM dabbled with drama and the ramifications of second chances, the sequel’s dramatic impulses feel forced. The characters are really just here to serve some excellent material about driverless cars, some silly and effective drug trip sequences, entirely too many body fluids, but mostly to participate in a movie torpedo of 15 minutes of gay panic humor. In 2015, if you make a movie that spends as long as this one does trying to craft homophonic humor, you suck. Your movie sucks. Go home. This is as bad as it gets, and any energy the film had in the beginning is sucked into a vortex of inappropriate laziness.

It’s a shame it had to go this way, because the ending sequence is fantastic. It takes up about four minutes of screen time during the credits (and is about one minute of the movie’s trailer), but really should have been a lot more of the movie. All the crazy stuff they talk about doing? That was the basis of some excellent material. Being afraid of your friends’ penis and testicles? That’s no  basis for humor, and everyone involved should grow the fuck up.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 opens in theaters today.

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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