If Hot Tub Time Machine caught lightning in a bottle, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 begs the sky for another bolt.
Steve Pink’s predecessor doesn’t nearly get enough credit. Hot Tub Time Machine has a niche, but rarely does it receive the recognition it deserves for going beyond the call of duty. The film could’ve been just another R-rated comedy filled with perverse shock, but Pink’s production decided to reach higher and use its 80’s era more cleverly. It uses references not as a comedic scapegoat, but as fuel to drive the humour somewhere interesting.
Now, everyone’s back. The director, the screenwriter, the stars (minus John Cusack). However, it seems they all understand fans are faithful and have collectively decided to slum it using gross-out humour of the lowest denominator.
That’s not to say Hot Tub Time Machine 2 isn’t funny. The sequel is so vulgar that it actually manages to make the audience laugh through its audacity to be as absurd as possible and go-for-broke. The hit-to-miss ratio wildly varies, but some of those jokes did make me chuckle, which led me to blush.
The film takes place in the future and has the same sort of fun Back to the Future 2 had with alternate timelines. There’s also a bit of Coherence in there, but something tells me a film this mainstream wouldn’t intentionally hit a target that modest.
Throwaway lines that set up the state-of-the-art future are cut from the same cloth its predecessor was. After those amusing points, Hot Tub TIme Machine 2 dives back into humour involving the male and female anatomy – bodily functions all included. It’s a disappointment considering how badly the talent making the movie are undercutting their own strengths. I would’ve felt more compassion for them if they at least signalled a little bit of reluctance; as if, they knew they were capable of more.
The main buddies (Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke) haven’t lost their touch, and still all work well with each other. However, it’s Adam Scott who steals all of the scenes he’s in. The other guys don’t have a chance against Scott’s milquetoast naivety. Corddry may have had an honest chance to stand next to Scott, but this is another comedy where the filmmaker in charge has failed to reel in the actor’s energy. Corddry can be hilarious, but he’s too much to handle when he’s swearing, sweating, and screaming.
So, take my words as you will. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is an immature, inferior sequel that is incessant with its cuss-filled adolescent vocabulary. But, I laughed – shamelessly. Call it a guilty pleasure!