As Cher would say "If I could turn back time, I would find a way" to erase the memory of this painfully unfunny money-grab from memory. Released later than its planned Christmas release, likely because the studio watched it and thought "Hey, this sucks and we don't want to piss off Santa!," Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is kind of like a hot tub with a short circuit - and no, not the adorable little robot Short Circuit.
The film's paper-thin concept centers around Lou (Rob Corddry), who has proclaimed himself the "Father of the Internet," getting shot. His brainiac friends Jacob (Clark Duke) and Nick (Craig Robinson) figure out that if they can go back in time they can stop the killer and decide to fire up the hot tube time machine once again.
The original Hot Tub Time Machine was a fairly unexpected hit, though I'd also add a bit of an overrated one. With a unique concept and enough edgy humor, the film turned a profit and, in Hollywood lingo, turning a profit equals earning a sequel.
If you watch the trailer above this review and laugh, I'd be surprised. I did watch the trailer. I didn't laugh. Not once. In fact, I cringed more than anything. It's almost painful how many times our gang sings in this film, especially Craig Robinson, whose time adventures have allowed him to basically steal pop tunes and claim them as his own. Yet, the singing here is of the "so bad it's not even funny" variety and of the "I'll take my fingers out of my ears when the singing is over" variety.
Nope. I'm not exaggerating.
There will be people who find Hot Tub Time Machine 2 funny, because as we learn every day through social media there are still plenty of crass, misogynistic, and homophobic people left to entertain in America. If this is you, then you may find this film funny barring the possibility that you're also a person of faith who will find the film's ample nudity (Isn't it weird how the word "ample" always goes with nudity?), abundance of naughty humor, and generally tasteless humor offensive.
While I'm generally a fan of a film finding its emotional core, in Hot Tub Time Machine 2 it fails miserably and sinks the film. When these performers are all allowed to do their thing, and they're all talented dudes, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 has its moments. When they're not, the film downward spirals into the kind of film that gets tossed into a mid-winter distribution.
Sorry boys, you can't turn back this time.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic