Of the numerous reasons to make Hot Tub Time Machine 2 — letting fans of the sophomoric, yet fun 2010 original spend more time with the gang; giving Craig Robinson and Rob Corddry their own starring vehicle or your simple standard money grab — clearly making a remotely entertaining movie wasn’t among them.
If you’re a gambler, place your odds on Hot Tub Time Machine 2 easily capturing a spot on 2015’s Worst Films list if not earning the top spot. In that regard, it was the only thing the filmmakers managed to work hard at throughout this crude, painfully unfunny attempt at comedy.
Last year, John Cusack starred in Drive Hard, a dry and uninspired comedy that its distributors had the decency to just put out on VOD to bury its mediocrity in someone’s Netflix’s queue. Interestingly, he wasn’t asked to reprise his role as Adam for the sequel. Don’t feel bad though as he easily comes out ahead for not appearing in this drivel.
The plot has some potential and starts off promising. Lou (Corddry) and Nick (Robinson) are reaping the benefits of going into the past and using their knowledge of the future to ‘create’ the Internet and pop songs. Lou’s son, Jacob (Clark Duke), has less initiative and is content to sit in Lou’s shadow. But he’d be pretty happy scoring a date with the coat check girl, Sophie (Bianca Haase).
Lou’s boorish behavior finally results in someone shooting his genitals with a shotgun — rest assured you’ll lose count of the numerous penis ‘jokes’ made throughout the film — and Lou, Nick and Jacob hop into the time machine to find Lou’s killer. Why screenwriter Josh Heald thinks that would be a fatal wound is another question.
They awake in the future and meet Adam’s son, Adam (Adam Scott), set to marry his sweetheart Jill (Gillian Jacobs) and the ridiculousness kicks off full steam.
Like The Hangover Part III, another comedy sequel that should never have gone past the ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we did another one?’ conceptual stage, HTTM2 gives far too much screen time to the character that’s best in small doses. Making the jacka$$ character the focal point of the film without a stronger voice of reason to play off against proves disastrous.
Lou unrestrained is funny as a break from the more sensible characters, but with the spotlight he’s simply obnoxious, annoying and unlikeable to the point you wonder why anyone would want to be around him.
During the frequent funeral like silences at the preview screening I attended, I felt bad for Corrdy and Robinson who might not ever get the chance to headline a film after this failure.
But then after another awful excuse for a joke, I became progressively less sympathetic until I simply was sad for everyone involved from the filmmakers to the audience.
Director Steve Pink returns for a second outing, but he appears disinterested in steering the comedy to any interesting levels going with tired fallback methods like projectile vomiting, homophobic humor and an over-reliance on jokes that worked in the first film that just seem desperate now.
Even at 93 minutes, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is too long to take another dip with this weak, wholly unnecessary sequel.
Rating: 2 out of 10
**Pictures courtesy Paramount Pictures