Hot Tub Time Machine 2
The Hot Tub Time Machine turns back on in Hot Tub Time Machine 2! Is it better than the first? Should you watch it? Check out our full review to find out!
Back in 2010, four friends miraculously changed their pitiful lives by going back in time in a Hot Tub Time Machine. Fast forward five years later, we get a look at just how their lives have changed since going back to 1986 in Hot Tub Time Machine 2. Lou (Rob Corddry) is the owner of Lougle and touts himself as the Father of the Internet. Nick (Craig Robinson) is now one of the biggest recording stars in the world. Due in large part because he steals all of his songs from other famous artists. Jacob (Clark Duke) is dealing with the fact that he's Lou's son by basically being his butler. Finally, Adam who was played by John Cusack in the first film, is revealed to be missing. Even though, in real life he wasn't asked to come back. Life is good for Lou and Nick, until Lou hosts a party at his mansion.
The group is struck with tragedy as Lou delivers a speech with so much arrogance and bravado that someone from the crowd decides to shoot Lou in a place where no man should ever be shot. In order to save his life, they decide to rev up the hot tub to go back in time and save Lou. In a predictable turn of events, they somehow end up in the future, instead. Upon making it to the future, they are encountered by the Hot Tub Repairman (Chevy Chase) and are told that this is where they need to be. The search for Lou's assailant begins.
I loved Hot Tub Time Machine, when it came out. It was smart, funny, and somehow they did it all by taking itself seriously. With a name like Hot Tub Time Machine, it wasn't supposed to take itself seriously and yet it found a way to and it so good. That's what makes the sequel so hard to watch, at times. From the beginning, you could tell that this movie was trying to get out from under the shadow of the prequel. That can be really tough to do when you don't have your lead in Cusack. God bless Corddry for trying but his character just isn't a leading man. It became more about Lou being a cancer to everyone and having to fix his mistakes. This didn't make me like his character any more. If anything I started to believe he deserved everything coming to him. It was almost hard for me to root for him to prevail, in the end. Once Jacob started taking charge, the development of the movie started flowing better. However, it takes a good long while before that happens.
Outside of Cusack, there just seemed like there was an overall piece missing from the movie that tied everything together. There are a few disjointed moments that, while funny, seem like they're missing some sort of continuity. For example, Lou pisses off an automated car and I immediately thought that there was someone behind it, out to kill him. However, that was it. There was no mystery behind it, no plot to destroy him. It was just a car that got pissed off and apparently has feelings. It was a missed opportunity to continue the "Who-Done-It" mystery. If there had been more of a plot that tied all the events together, I know I would've enjoyed this movie more.
When it comes to humor, though, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 has a lot of hilarious moments. A good amount of jokes fall flat mostly because they were missplaced or drawn out. However, the events within the movie are just outrageously funny. My favorite parts of this movie were Craig Robinson's. His interpretation of Lisa Loeb's Stay is amazing. When he goes on Choozy Doozy had my side hurting. The original song, "Strut" hasn't gotten out of my head. With every moment and joke, Craig Robinson makes this movie. Another character that I thoroughly enjoyed was Adam Jr. (Adam Scott) Adam Jr. is the long unknown son of Cusack's character Adam. Jr. is a relatively reclusive character when the guys meet him. He spends his days taking care of the house and his fiance and showing his love in nausium. His downward spiral from good upstanding citizen to drug induced god is hilarious to watch. He was a very welcome addition that this movie needed.
As I mentioned before, every joke was not a hit. They reduced themselves to a lot of one-liners about each other. That's funny the first time but after the second, it's a little annoying, borderline obnoxious. Then by the third time, it's just like beating a dead joke over and over. Plus, there were a LOT of dick jokes. When a movie resorts to jokes about genitalia, that's when you know they really ran out of content. It's a shame when a movie has to reduce to that for the sake of a laugh. Comedy is hard and it doesn't get easier when you just keep doing the same schtick over and over.
Finally, the story needed more writers than just Jason Heald. He struck gold in the first movie but in Hot Tub Time Machine 2 he falls hard. Now, I realize that most movies like this have a ton of improv moments. That being said, you can't improv character development and plot. Through and through, he made this movie a true Bro movie. In that, it was centered around these guys and their fantasies, which is all well and good. However, no woman no matter how rich or promiscuous walks around the house in just panties. It doesn't happen. In Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Jacob's character has a really hot girlfriend named Sophie (Bianca Haase) and she does just that.
Furthermore, when they go back to the past so Jacob can get her, the once proud uninterested woman is suddenly all over Jacob. To further my point, Gillian Jacobs is a really good actress. She's great in Community. However, her character in this movie is that of a pouty whiny fiance who is just way too needy and clingy. It just showed me that Heald doesn't know how to write for women. Nor does he have any idea about time travel. His reasoning for all of it hurt my brain. Although, if I wanted to expand my mind about the theory of time travel, I'd go to a lecture for Bill Nye or Neil DeGrasse Tyson, not Hot Tub Time Machine 1 or 2.