Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Stupid, but okay.
When you have a film with a title of Hot Tub Time Machine, there’s simply no way on earth you need to take it seriously – and yet it happens. From its origins, this series was meant to be taken as it is – which is stupid with inside jokes pertaining to period humor. That’s it, but you get everyone calling out how horrible it is…which is fair – it is stupid…but I actually somewhat enjoyed the second film. Time travel, specifically, is an interesting concept to follow into franchise sequels, and the way Hot Tub Time Machine 2 did it…is a bit reminiscent of other time travel flicks like Back to the Future. Both in direction, ideas, and how they describe the science. So what is it about?
Well, in the second film, our group is back (minus John Cusack), and are in a bit of a bind. Their successful lives are taking a turn and when Lou (Rob Corddry) is killed in the present, they have to go to the future to save his life – because the killer is from the future…in a different timeline. I can’t explain the science, just watch it, they steal Back to the Future’s explanation anyways.
When you get right down to it – that’s the plot. They have to go to the future to find Lou’s killer…whoever that may be. Now at this point, I was extremely worried about the film. It didn’t have a strong opening and absolutely required knowledge of every scene in the first film…but once it got into the future, I was okay with it. While the previous movie focused on period humor, making jokes about the past with knowledge of the future – this film’s setting was dealt in the future. Like in Back to the Future 2, it instead focused on an idea of where the world is going…in an entertaining, over-exaggerated light – specifically speaking…the direction of the media and what it will eventually take to excite an audience. That’s nothing new though – we’ve seen similar interpretations in several futuristic and alternate movies…even including The Hunger Games.
This was a comedy, though, so I have to address how funny it was or wasn’t. Again, this deals with a lot of stupid humor, just like the first one did – but I have to admit I didn’t laugh as much. As cool as it is to focus on where the world is heading for the future, the audience just doesn’t connect as much with it unless they go to the past. People are familiar with things that have actually happened, so to make fun of that with several inside jokes is what truly made the first film better. Not the characters or writing, but the attitude towards changing the past without repercussions and just saying….screw it. I laughed with the first movie, I didn’t with the second. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy myself…I just didn’t physically laugh, and I think that’s important for a comedy.
I will say, without spoiling anyone, that the ending was the best part of this film. For several reasons. In fact, waiting for the events in the end pretty much made the rest of the movie worth it. The end, by the way, did have me laughing.
People can complain all they want about Hot Tub Time Machine 2, the fact is I’ve seen worse. I watched this movie without complaint and appreciated its explanation on where the world is heading, even if it was all just a gag.
First of all, no one asked for this movie to happen. Second of all, the best parts of this film were taken from other sources…then again, I don’t think they were ever claiming to be original. Finally, the jokes just didn’t work as well, because these films draw strength from making inside jokes about the past because they are from the future – going further into the future just switches that around, giving the people in the future the ability to make an inside joke…and the audience is unfortunately left out of the inner circle…so it wasn’t that funny.