Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015)
A Review by: Jeff Turner
Dir: Steve Pink
Written by: Josh Heald
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures, MGM
Starring: Rob Corddry, Adam Scott, Craig Robinson, Gillian Jacobs, Clark Duke, Jason Jones, Kumail Nanjiani, Chevy Chase, Christian Slater.
I didn’t see the first HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, but there’s no way it was as painful or mean spirited as this. HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 follows the trend of comedy sequels as an unfunny, derivative, miserable cash-grab of a film. There’s not a joke that works.
We see the characters from the first film, Lou (Rob Corddry), Nick (Craig Robinson), and Jacob (Clark Duke) living the lives they ended up with at the end of the first film. Lou founded his own company, Lougle. Nick plagiarized every popular song since the 80’s and is now a ‘successful’ musician, and Jacob works as Lou’s butler. That leads into a mid life crisis for Jacob…or a quarter life crisis? Whatever.
But there’s trouble in paradise! During a party Lou gets shot in the dick (hardy har har) by a mystery assailant. So they have to travel to 2025 through convoluted logic (I realize that’s part of the joke, but the execution falls flat on its face) to find out who killed Lou. The reveal of who did it manages to be lame, dumb, unfunny, and sexist.
The best part of this movie is a cameo by Christian Slater of all people as a raunchy game show host. Which is not to say that the role is particularly funny, just to say that it had the most potential. His game show features virtual simulations of various disgusting acts; which could be used to satirize the growing vanity of game shows, but this is lost on the writers. His big moment is when he has Nick and Lou engage in virtual sex, which ends up being more creepy than funny.
The replacement for John Cusack is Adam Scott, playing Adam Jr, his son. The film tries to make jokes about Cusack’s absence, but they more distract from the picture than entertain the audience. Scott plays Adam as a stick in the mud, and while he is game, the role ends up failing. He has a fiancée played by Gillian Jacobs, which eventually segues into a whole wedding plot (presumably written in just to make it look like this movie HAS a plot), but she’s let down by the script as well.
HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 is thinly-written to say the least. The writers figured that since they got a good cast, they could base the plot around their ad-libbing, but that isn’t something you should base the bulk of your movie around. It's a cash grab, and there have been bad movies that have been cash grabs, but this is so much worse. It wastes a talented cast on jokes that revolve around swearing just for the sake of it, which NEVER works. The main characters are all horribly written, stereotypical movie girlfriends; which I’m getting absolutely sick of. The most enjoyment I got out of the picture was maybe a grin or two, even then that was mostly just coming out of pity.
Suggestion: Skip it