Director: Steve Pink
Starring: Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Adam Scott
Sequels can often be hit and miss, even off the back of a successful first film. One hopes that a sequel can extend the series and embellish the plot of its predecessor, whilst filling any plot holes. Unfortunately, ‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2’ is already destined to struggle, following on from a poor first installment. But this movie goes one better, and successfully manages to increase the gaping plot holes whilst leaving every question unanswered. In the long line of dire, gross-out movies that Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson seem to be fond of making, this is probably the darkest yet. The key to any comedy film of course, lies in its jokes. In this instance, director Steve Pink has deviated from his previous formula and made just about every joke darker and more vulgar, which only serves to make ‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2’ even more unwatchable than the original film. I just wish I had my own time machine to get back the hour and a half I wasted watching this film.
The cast from the previous film returns, with the exception of John Cusack (Adam), and are this time shoved into the future rather than the past. Once there, they attempt to find out what happens to Lou (Rob Corddry) and why people are trying to kill him. As they wander about on their crazy adventure, they encounter a few new faces and eventually find out that his life, as well as a few others, are completely in shambles. Speaking of shambles, the structure, quality and continuity of the plot is an utter disaster. Chevy Chase reprises his cameo role as as the hot tub repairman, for just two sentences and then disappears again, thus ignoring the question as to why he’s there and how he can just come and go as he pleases. The gang joke about John Cusack’s absence, but don’t explain any of the events leading to his disappearance, thanks for the inside joke guys! Adam’s son, originally named Adam Junior (Adam Scott), is introduced, again with no explanation. The half-assed plot holes just keep on coming, with Lou transforming from a moronic yet generous character in the original movie, to become an immoral, abusive, drug-fiend in this movie.
One of the most crass scenes in the movie highlights the slow, moral degrade of TV game shows, but it crosses the line when they hint at instances of sexual abuse. This crude tone completely ruined the second half of the movie for me, as I couldn’t ignore the crude sounds and innuendos. The rest of the time, there is a heavy focus is on the ill-treatment and abuse of Jacob (Clark Duke), which coming from Lou, is just a total oxymoron. For someone who has such poor impulse control, to watch him throw insults at his son is rather uncomfortable, as despite the comedic roots to this dialogue, it is unfair to mistreat such an awkward character.
‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2’ was a complete waste of my time at the cinema. By rehashing the previous storyline, neglecting to fill the small yet inexcusable plot holes of the previous movie, I was left feeling exasperated at the use of brainless dialogue as an attempt to compensate for this. Add this to the low-level, unintelligible humour and you have to question the value of quality to the makers of this film, who are apparently more concerned with just producing an embarrassing, thinly veiled, money spinning sequel in a poor series.