James Canellos ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
With blizzards overtaking over Boston, getting into a hot tub seems like an offer that would be hard to turn down. However in regards to Hot Tub Time Machine 2, this is one you should steer clear of. This unnecessary sequel left behind a lot more than just a few of it’s original writers and star John Cusack, it’s missing the very aspects that made the first one such a surprising delight.
After Lou (Rob Corddry) used his knowledge of the future to create some of histories most profitable creations and his own iteration of the band Mötley Crüe (or Mötley Loü) the gang is living it up pretty well five years after their first hot tub ride. Nick (Craig Robinson) has been ripping off the most popular songs written in modern time. Lou’s son Jacob (Clark Duke) is being pushed to the side of his father’s success and feels like he’s being undermined as Lou’s butler.
While the guilt of their unearned success is on Nick’s conscious, Lou has gotten drunk with power both literally and metaphorically. Lou’s heinous behavior leads someone to shot him in the groin at a party forcing the gang to try to find his assassin with the help of their hot tub time machine. However, they end up in the year 2025 and have to try to find the mysterious killer before he travels back in time.
Not even the help of Adam Scott as John Cusack’s future son is enough to keep his sequel from repeating the same sling of unfunny jokes and repetitious gross out gags that essentially are recycled from the original. At one point Jacob refers to their time traveling by saying; “Don’t mess with a winning formula”. I don’t know what time director Steve Pink is living in where this film would be considered ‘winning’ at anything. Traveling to that day in age would be something of a miraculous accomplishment. While Hot Tub Time Machine was a fun ride that actually had a good amount to say about drifting friendships and depression due to failure, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 shows only slivers of actually telling a story about the consequences of your actions on others (with a mildly funny Lisa Loeb cameo).
I don’t need to see into the future to know that every review for this film is going to have a line somewhere about going back in time to avoid this film from being made. With the snow coming down day after day, a hot tub seems like a great treat. That is, as long as it’s one at a perfect temperature and you don’t want to get out of. If Hot Tub Time Machine 2 was an actual hot tub, it would be the one that hasn’t been cleaned properly with a lot of bacteria residing inside. The kind of hot tub that you would be better off avoiding.
Overall Grade: D