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Movie Review: Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is one of the worst films of the year, and we're still in February. Movie gods, hear our pleas!

Review by Matt Cummings

It doesn't happen too often when I can call a film dead on arrival, but in the case of the franchise-killing Hot Tub Time Machine 2, I can both confidently state its supreme and utter lack of worth, while urging you to stay away at any cost.

Jumping off from the end of 2010's Hot Tub Time Machine, Lou (Rob Coddry) and Nick (Craig Robinson) have made fabulous wealth over the years from their stealing of other people's intellectual property before they themselves had a chance to make it. Meanwhile, Lou's son Jacob (Clark Duke) hasn't taken advantage, relegated instead to being Lou's butler and Adam (John Cusak) is nowhere to be found. But as a guest at Lou's party shoots one of them in their privates, the trio must set off in the time machine to find the murderer, finding themselves in 2025 and meeting up with Adam's son (Adam Scott). As the guys booze and party their way in the future, they must alter the past by fixing the future, which is really the present...or so they want us to think.

The problems for Tub start in its first scenes and proceed downhill at a rapid pace. Scenes are so poorly cut that actors are far away in one sequence, then suddenly very close to one another in the next, all without movement or explanation as to how they suddenly appeared in another spot. That may sound like nitpicking, but then add in the complete lack of humor and an almost sadistic feeling throughout, and you begin to see just how uninspired this production was. Did I mention the shot-up penis, the foaming at the mouth, and 'evacuation' of buildup from yet another penis? And forget about any time-travel logic, because none it makes a lick of sense.

It's possible that at one time this franchise had a good concept, with Director Steve Pink and Writer Josh Herald originally offering a Better Off Dead vibe to the first Hot Tub. But something went very wrong along the way, either with audience feedback or studio pressure, to the point that I can't even recognize this any longer as a viable entity. What we're left with is some of the most unfunny comedy I've seen in years, on par with Tammy, That's My Boy, and The Hangover III. How a film and a series could go so far astray was beyond both me and the smattering of moviegoers who were somehow duped into seeing this early screening, thinking the mistakes of the original would have been corrected, resulting in an improved product. Stupid us.

Herald is of the opinion that crude sex jokes, breasts, and drug trips make for an enjoyable film when they alone serve as the film's backbone. Therefore, we get plenty of disgusting medical humor - most of it involving vomiting and surgery on penises - dabbled with an actually funny joke every 30 minutes. If you do the math on this 93-minute production, that's literally one laugh every 30 minutes. That sounds about right. Coddry, Robinson, and Duke don't help, as their obvious ad-libbing do nothing to the film's long lapses in time-travel logic. Sure, this isn't Looper or Terminator (each mentioned in the film) but the creators' mix of 'fun'/self-reverent humor just doesn't work here. Even the future imagining is awful, with emotion-filled self-driving cars and reality shows based on gay sodomy and trapped teens in crushed collapsed buildings.

The franchise-killing Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is clearly the worst film of the year so far. It makes 50 Shades of Grey look like cinematic mastery, Seventh Son a mesmerizing fantasy epic, and Jupiter Ascending the next Star Wars. It's unnecessarily disgusting and filled in some parts with gratuitous nudity that does nothing to further the story; but at its heart Tub just isn't funny. No wonder John Cusak stayed as far away as he did. I just wish I could have time-traveled back to about two hours ago to warn myself never to see this atrocity. Yes, it's really that bad.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, graphic nudity, drug use and some violence and has a runtime of 93 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.


Thomas Watson said…
It's a very unique addition to the comedy genre. Hot Tub Time Machine because it never tries to be anything that it isn't

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