There ain’t no party like a hot tub party! Steve Pink’s Hot Tub Time Machine was a surprise hit when it rolled into cinemas in 2010. Its stupid sounding title didn’t put people off, and with its own unique blend of retro 80s references, cheeky one-liners and frequent penis gags, the quirky bromance comedy strangely worked. Despite being John Cussack-lite, the sequel sees returning stars Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry and Clark Duke, along with newbie Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation), hit the hi-tech tub again for another time-bending adventure.
After manipulating the past for their own future gain, the gang are now rich and successful beyond their wildest dreams. A bare-chested Lou (Corddry) – bumped up to leading man status in the absence of Cussack’s straight-faced Adam – is the owner of internet company ‘Lougle’, while Nick (Robinson) is a big-shot musician who is off to the Grammy’s – crazy shirts and all – for the umpteenth time. During his own party, Lou is shot in the dick by an unknown gunman and the trio are forced to travel 10 years in time to stop his killer while unwittingly unmasking the truth about their own drug-fuelled, lonely and, deep-down, unhappy futures.
There’s at least one thing this dubious sequel has going for it: it’s funnier than the recently released Get Hard. That, however, does not say a lot given the fact the Kevin Hart-starring ‘comedy’ is worse than Satan. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is stupider, lazier and certainly less humorous than its original, but what hurts it most of all is, surprisingly, the lack of Mr. Cussack. The High Fidelity star’s serious screen presence brought a balance to proceedings and compensated for Corddry’s infuriatingly repetitive penis jokes. Bumping up the latter to leader of the pack in this borish sequel did more harm than good, as his unwitty potty-mouth spouted out more crap than a diarrhea-suffering newborn.
Adding Adam Scott’s ditzy Adam Jnr. (the son of Cussack’s character) to the mix did very little to help, while the film was only saved from the depths of comedic hell by the smattering of smile-inducing insults (“You look like Gandalf the poor”, “I think I wanna hit you into the corner pocket”) and the ever-lovable Craig Robinson’s over-elaborate musical numbers. A cameo appearance from Chevy Chase as the cryptic hot tub engineer, and the camera-facing pun about the films title will give fans of the first outing a reminiscent chuckle, yet this sequel is quickly drowned out by tiresome genital-based puns and an excruciatingly long Christian Slater-starring gay sex sequence.
Attempts at sentiment and heartfelt father-son bonding sessions between Lou and Jacob (Duke) are also lost amongst the frivolous rubbish, as Pink’s Hot Tub Time Machine 2 quickly descends into the Adam Sandler field of face-palming comedic sh*tness, and joins the ever-growing list of disappointing 21st century comedy sequels.