Hot Tub 2 is Too Much of a Gross Thing


     The first Hot Tub Time Machine was a nice little dose of scifi-comedy, combining 80’s nostalgia, everyone’s favorite memories of their favorite hot tub, and the modern movie conceit of three or four dudes partying it up together over the course of one wild weekend. The second Hot Tub Time Machine is like that time you stayed in an old Jacuzzi for too long, and started noticing your own flop sweat, pruney fingers, and just how disgusting the water truly was. It’s too long, even at 93 minutes, and too gross for its own good, culminating in a climax that tries too hard in every way imaginable. Straining for continuity from the outset by explaining away John Cusack’s absence with something or another about a spiritual journey, “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” starts off well enough with an interesting hook wherein Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, and Clark Duke, rich and famous or wallowing in their lack of such, must travel back in time once more, this time to prevent the near murder of Corddry’s ornery Lou. Director Steve Pink’s thematic goal is admirable enough: these three goons, stooped as they are in narcissistic excess, must learn what’s important in life all over again if they wish to save their friend and improve upon their existential crises of the present. But the endless gross-out gags and gaggles of assholery overwhelm any notable point the film may be trying to make, and it doesn’t help that genuine laughs are few and far between, beginning with the opening montage and ending about twenty minutes later when they stand aghast at their disappointing future. From then on it’s incredulous pratfalling, exploding testicles, and homophobic virtual reality hijinks. This is the first comedy in some time to feature multiple gay jokes in the span of an hour, and the experience is just as queasy as it sounds. Robinson, Corddry, and Duke try their damnedest to inject heart and smarts, and Adam Scott introduces a fresh comic voice to the otherwise stale proceedings, but like the director’s well-meaning intentions, any worthwhile laughs are drowned by the sheer combination of desperation and revulsion that is the majority of this unnecessary sequel.

Grade: D+

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