Film Review: Hot Tub Time Machine 2

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2

Steve Pink’s sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2 lacks the waggish charm of its predecessor. Those looking for belly laughs will be sorely disappointed.

As a successful tech billionaire and rock star, Lou’s attitude in 2015 gets him into trouble. In order to save him, Nick and Jacob realise they must take another trip in the hot tub time machine…

Director Steve Pink and writer Josh Heald return with most of the cast (barring star John Cusack) for Hot Tub Time Machine 2. Unfortunately, the team cannot replicate the humour of the first film, bawdy as it may have been, for this follow-up. The crude humour is even more present, yet it fails raise laughs.

The film’s narrative fails to capture the imagination. As with the first film, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 borrows from other time travel movies, particularly Back to the Future 2. With the majority of the film set in the future,  this sequel loses the nostalgia factor that Hot Tub Time Machine offered. Time travel pop cultural references are back, but feel tired and overused in this instalment. The costumes, music, and references are no longer a source of amusement.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2‘s main failing is its script. Other elements in the film cannot compensate for this defect. What is left is for the main characters to carry the film. Unfortunately, they are not strong enough to do this. Lou’s schtick gets annoying fast, and Nick is not given enough decent lines. The missing Adam is not felt as such; with the calibre of the script, his inclusion would not make much difference.

Performances in the film suffice. Craig Robinson’s comic talent is underused. Adam Scott does a suitable job, but is not helped by the script. The soundtrack is not as effective as in the original film.

Ultimately, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 fails to make viewers laugh. Without the comedy, the murder mystery plot does not engage, and attempts at drama fall flat. Give this one a wide berth.

Stuff To Look At

This week we have plenty of clips and trailers for next year’s releases, including Inherent Vice, Jupiter Ascending and A Little Chaos

A Little Chaos

Period drama A Little Chaos is about the unlikely landscape architect of the Palace of Versailles. Directed, co-writtend and starring Alan Rickman, the film focuses on Kate Winslet’s Madame Sabine de Barra. A Little Chaos is out in cinemas on 17th April 2015.

Inherent Vice

Here is a brief clip from the upcoming Inherent Vice. Paul Thomas Anderson’s film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, and Reese Witherspoon among others. Inherent Vice is released in UK cinemas on 30th January 2015.

Mad Max: Fury Road

This Mad Max: Fury Road trailer caused quite a storm when it was unleashed last week. From the trailer at least, the film is striking on a visual level. Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult, Mad Max: Fury Road hits the big screen on 15th May 2015.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry and Clark Duke return for time-travelling comedy sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2. After the success of the first film, the group venture into the future, as well as the distant past in this instalment. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is released in UK cinemas on 10th April 2015.

Jupiter Ascending

Here is an extended V spot for upcoming science fiction blockbuster Jupiter Ascending. I can’t get over Channing Tatum’s ears. Also starring Mila Kunis and Eddie Redmayne, Jupiter Ascending hits UK screens on 6th February 2015.

The Last Five Years

Based on the theatre show, The Last Five Years is a musical which tells the story of a five-year relationship. Anna Kendrick once again shows off her vocal skills, following Pitch Perfect and the upcoming Into The Woods. The Last Five Years is scheduled for release in Spring 2015.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sees the cast from the first film reunited, along with newcomer Richard Gere. This follow-up sees Dev Patel’s Sonny open a second hotel. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is set for release on 26th February 2015.

Film Review: This Is The End

Apocalyptic comedy This Is The End is squarely aimed at the Judd Apatow audience. It is sometimes crude, but more often than not pretty amusing.

When Jay Baruchel goes to Los Angeles for the weekend, he is hoping to spend the time catching up with his best friend Seth Rogen. However Seth is keen that they go to a party at James Franco’s house. The party is a bad idea, but not for the reasons Jay thought…

In This Is The End, all the characters play themselves. The film itself boasts a fun premise – a group of Hollywood actors trying to survive an apocalypse. This set-up wears a little thin over the almost two-hour duration, but This Is The End is thoroughly entertaining for the most part.

The fact that the characters a playing themselves, or at least a version of themselves, is one of the film’s main attributes. With the inclusion of a plethora of cameos, it is certainly fun to watch these stars sending themselves up. Nonetheless, it is a pity that James Franco, for example, does not make more of his perceived persona.

The humour in This Is The End is often crass. This is not unexpected, however, given the talent involved in the film. Although the jokes tend to go for the lowest common denominator, the humour does generate laughs.

Jay Baruchel is a likeable protagonist. He functions as the ‘normal guy’ within the sea of celebrities. As a result, he is the one viewers will most likely identify with. Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson offer good support, whilst some of the film’s funniest moments arise from the high-profile cameos.

Although it won’t be to everyone’s tastes, This Is The End should certainly satisfy the demographic it will appeal to. The film is silly fun, and recommend just for this purpose.