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.