When the first “Hot Tub Time Machine” came out back in 2010, even as a wee lad I remember feeling skeptical about the premise. The movie turned out to be enjoyable enough as a sleepover party time killer (bad pun intended), and it had its moments. Although it wasn’t the kind of movie that my friends and I quoted regularly (especially considering that “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” and “Kick Ass” quickly removed any memory of the hardly bearable experience), it was decent overall. The problem is that the concept wasn’t built to last, and director Steve Pink really shouldn’t have tried to milk it any further, and judging from the sequel’s god-awful script, he probably didn’t get a lot of money for it in the first place.
Most people are willing to suspend a solid amount of disbelief if the premise was outlandish for the sake of comedy. “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” relied far too much on crude, slapstick humor for me to feel like ignoring its ridiculous rules of time travel. The majority of the jokes had something to do with Lou “The Violater” Dorchen’s (Rob Corddry) penis and barely drew laughter from even the crudest of audience members. In fact, the script actually addresses its own ridiculousness during a skit where Adam (Adam Scott) must have nanobots removed via hypodermic needle from “the lowest part of his body,” which a nurse thinks is his balls. Nick (Craig Robinson) chimes “isn’t that his feet?” but the nurse stabs it into Adam’s crotch anyway. Insert spraying really-fake-looking-semen-everywhere skit here. The script also features a small handful of meta-jokes that completely break the fourth wall, all of which feel more like the writers making jabs at the producers for making such a terrible movie rather than attempts at intelligent humor.
The second half of the problem can be summarized into two words: Fuck. Physics. We’re going to take for granted that you let it slide for the first movie, so why should you care that it’s even more ridiculous if you’re watching the sequel? Back to the Future,” “Looper,” “The Terminator,” and countless other films have already established that time travel is complicated and shouldn’t be scrutinized, but “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” takes it to new lows.
The humor is bad. The premise is bad. The CGI is bad. The acting is bad. The pacing is bad. And if you still want to watch this movie, well I can’t help you.
Review by William Park