February 24, 2015

Movie Review: Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Nearly five years ago a little, unassuming movie arrived in theaters with the absolutely ridiculous title of Hot Tub Time Machine. It still sounds silly. Right? It does, doesn't it? It sounds really goofy and probably really bad. Surprisingly, that movie was really quite good. I guess it had a decent enough of a theatrical run and a solid DVD market that Paramount figured a sequel would be a safe bet. The problem is that it took five years to come out and also that it arrives missing one of its stars. John Cusack did not return for this trip, in his place we have Adam Scott. So, was a sequel really needed? Is it worth checking out?

No, more or less. I can understand the studio taking a flyer on making a sequel. So what if Cusack doesn't want back in, drop the budget as low as you can and we will figure out a way to make it profitable. You probably could see it as cash grab, you wouldn't be far off. Now, the first one was surprisingly good, there is no denying it (well, maybe), but it was pretty much tied off, a stand alone. No sequel needed. Well, that is neither here nor there, the sequel is here and it struggles to gain momentum.

The first movie had heart, it had comedy, it had its share of over the top excess. It was a great combination. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 does not have the heart. It lacks any real reason to care about anyone involved. It is kind of sad, as I rather like the cast. Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson are some very funny folks. The thing about this movie is that it is primarily centered on Rob Corrdry's Lou Dorchen and his apparent murder.

The gang end up ten years in the future, learn that the future is the past of their present and are required to find out who is behind the murder of Lou ten years earlier. It keeps up the Back to the Future style of time travel, right down to the fading away as the hope of survival diminishes (here it is more of a flicker).

That is about it. We do get to see what their ill gotten gains gave gotten them based on what happened in the first film. From there, the plot takes the gang into the hot tub, through time, and right into a murder mystery. Of course, it is not straight up comedic mystery, it is about as raunchy and irreverent as it gets. More than find the would be killer, they stumble from a drink to a line of coke, to a random nudity, another line of coke, some depression, some unfounded confidence, and a few more drinks.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is not without its funny moments, but that is all they are, moments. It is a few funny scenes tied together with flimsy garbage. When you look at it as a whole, it lacks real heart, purpose, and entertainment. It flounders, it flops its way towards the finish line and when it finally gets there, we all breathe a sigh of relief. It is finally over. Again, it is not without its funny moments and I want to see more of Corddy and Robinson. They will survive this one and hopefully it will just be forgotten in the ravages of time.


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