Hot Tub Time Machine was a surprise hit back in 2010 that was charming and clever in the ways it conveyed simple themes of friendship and taking your future into your own hands. The movie had surprise chemistry between its main cast and tons of people fell in love with the film which led to an announcement soon after that a sequel would happen. Five years later, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 has finally hit theaters, and last night we went to see it, which was probably a huge mistake.
I absolutely loved Hot Tub Time Machine, and all I wanted out of this sequel was for it to not ruin the original… sigh. The first movie had direction and everything the characters did was related to figuring out how to get back to the present time while enjoying the perks of being able to change things on the side. HTTM2 reverses that formula and has the characters doing random things in the future while the main plot is an afterthought. The film had a horrible basic plot with no direction and as a result the dialogue suffered because the jokes, which were all replicas of the original film, were entirely too drawn out and just turn into unfunny overkill.
Losing John Cusack as Adam seems to be what hurts this movie the most. In the original, Adam is the center of the friend group who, for the most part, brings the grounded moral conscience to everyone else. Without him, the focus turns onto Lou (Rob Corddry), which is a character that can’t really carry as the lead. Rather than having a serious actor surrounded by three comedic ones, HTTM2 just focuses on three comedic actors who try and stuff as many repetitive jokes into 90 minutes as possible.
I’m not even going to discuss how much talent they wasted in Adam Scott.
I definitely laughed at certain parts of Hot Tub Time Machine 2, but in the end it was a poor excuse of a sequel that was honestly just a money grab. There was so much wasted potential when you have time travel driving your story. This movie was closer to The Hangover 2 rather than a successful sequel that can make fun of itself without being overkill like 22 Jump Street.
While the first Hot Tub Time Machine was an unexpected gem, a great blend of crude humor but genuine heart, the movie’s sequel is absolutely devoid of everything that made the original so enjoyable. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 essentially has no story; it’s framed as a murder mystery of sorts, but the script has no interest in actually uncovering who the murderer is and instead has its characters meander through the future with no sense of purpose.
Hot Tub Time Machine 2‘s lack of focus would be forgivable if it was funny, but it’s not. Almost none of the movie’s jokes land (and most of the attempts at humor are dick jokes, because those are so funny, right?), and the film completely wastes its very talented cast (including Parks and Rec‘s Adam Scott), making them utter lines and perform stupid slapstick humor that not even the greatest comedian alive could make work.
Overall, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is a soulless, pointless, slog of a movie that has around a 90-minute running time but feels like it’s going on for three hours. If you’re a fan of the first one, do yourself a favor and act like this one doesn’t exist (just like The Sandlot 2) and use your money to go see something like Kingsman or The DUFF instead.