Listen – if you go see this, I will assume you saw the first one. Hot Tub Time Machine was released in 2010 – and it was exactly as stupid as it sounds – but had some funny moments. Four friends stumble across a hot tub time machine, and go back in time to their high school ski trip. They make some changes in their lives, and come back to a future where they are rich and famous. It was made for $36 million, and made over $50 – so it was enough of a profit for a sequel.
That brings us to 2015 – and the sequel (which I am positive no one was asking for).
Lou has used the time machine to become a legendary rock start and the inventor of the internet and of Google – now known as Lougle. Nick used his trip to the past to become a legendary songwriter and singer – writing and performing songs that he remembered before they happened. Jacob, Lou’s son (that’s a bit confusing, but you can research the details in the original if you find it necessary), is basically hanging around in Lou’s mansion, occasionally acting as his butler when required. Adam – John Cusack’s character from the original – is missing. Seriously – no one knows where he is, but his jacket makes an appearance. Well, Lou is holding his annual party, at which he talks about how great he is, when suddenly during an electrical blackout, someone shoots him. In order to save him, Jacob and Nick drag him to the hot tub and go back in time, except that they make a mistake – and head to the future, to 2025. Hijinks ensue. These hijinks include finding Adam’s son – but still no sign of Adam, realizing that Nick sold out several years ago with something called the “Nick Webber Strut”, finding that Jacob now runs Lou’s empire, and that Lou is still around, but seems to look like a drunk homeless person. Lou begins to flicker, and through some really convoluted logic, they realize that the person who shot him and would become his killer came back in time to kill him from 2025. They set out to solve the murder that hasn’t happened yet, encountering parties, weird game shows, and Adam Jr.’s wedding in the process.
I won’t lie to you – it’s not good. It has some funny spots, and I feel like it is not any more or less funny than the original. It’s directed by Steve Pink – who did the great Accepted, the 2014 remake of About Last Night, which I loved, and The original Hot Tub Time Machine. The movie’s biggest virtue is that it is very self-aware, and the second best virtue is the cast, and their ability to improv with each other.
- Rob Corddry continues to add to his list of characters that you hate by managing to make Lou even less likeable in this movie than he was in the first one. He’s only tolerable when he’s with Nick.
- Crag Robinson continues to play Nick as a loveable miscreant. He eventually wants to use the time machine to do something better.
- Clark Duke plays Jacob, and I’m really a fan of his – he has such a sarcastic sense of humor, and I do enjoy how in these movies, he’s more the straight guy to Nick and Lou’s craziness. I also really enjoy when he says something nerdy and they sing at him that he’s a nerd.
- Adam Scott plays Adam Jr. and I’m a fan of his, and while his role in this was similar to his role on Parks and Rec – he was really funny, and future-innocent.
- Gillian Jacobs plays Adam Jr’s finance Jill. She has very little to do, but gets some pretty funny scenes, and one really unfunny scene where she hooks up with Lou.
- Jason Jones from the Daily Show plays Gary Winkle, who was their friend in high school, but missed the fateful ski trip – so now is just trying to make ends meet.
- Kumail Nanjiani, who is brilliant on Silicon Valley, plays Brad, who works for Lou – and becomes the number one shooting suspect.
Overall, the movie is terrible, the characters are really unlikable, and the movie has way too many dumb jokes. Honestly – I did laugh from time to time. If you need to shut your brain off for a couple hours and watch something silly – it will fit that requirement.
4 out of 10 – Gained points for the compilation over the end credits of the other places they go with the hot tub. Lost points for having no strong female characters at all – but it’s a dude-centric comedy, so I expected that, but still…. Lost points for the PTS - lost points for all the drinking and drug use – lost points for Lou being annoying - lost points for the game show sequence – lost points for Lou’s tiger painting – lost points for Lou’s parking, and what he wears to the office – but gained points for Nick’s music career and the Lisa Loeb cameo as he records as much of her song as he remembers (which is not much).
Bonus Video 1: I did love this version of About Last Night from the same director last year.
Bonus Video 2: In case you still can't believe John Cusack was in the first one:
Bonus Video 3: Cast Interviews