January and February are often poor months for moviegoers: Big studios release tawdry films while most of the country is holed up in heavy rain or snows. These movies can be so bad, one wishes that there was snow or sleet in Southern California so we need not put up with such terrible movies. Case in point: “Hot Tub Time Machine 2.” Obscene, illogical and riddled with loopholes, at times even sexist, this film is downright unfunny. “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” astoundingly surpasses its predecessor in its lack of quality.
Occurring after the events of the first film, “Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” the main characters become billionaires by exploiting their knowledge of the future. Lou Dorchund (Rob Corddry) invents “Lougle,” essentially their form of Google, Nick Webber (Craig Robinson) becomes a musician, profiting off his knowledge of the hit music of the future, and Jacob (Clark Duke), Lou’s son, is living under his successful father’s shadow. At a celebratory party, where events turn dark and Lou is shot in the groin, the three resolve to get back into the time machine to stop it all from happening, only to end up 10 years into the future. At this point, they assume that the time machine sent them into the future to stop the attempted murder, because the murderer is from the future.
The only women to have any major role in the film are Lou’s wife and Jacob’s wife in the future. All other women who make appearances do so only as hot girls the three are partying with, a situation which allows none of them to really have any characterization, nor any lines that refer to them outside of their relationships. Moreover, the film includes a crude rape scene sequence which is just abhorrent. The trio appear on a game show where celebrities are required to do what the audience votes. Nick, being the famous musician, is scheduled to make an appearance and is voted to have intercourse with a man, who just happens to be Lou (the person who suggested it). Why the writers felt the need to include this or make a joke out of this, given that it literally has nothing to do with the plot, is beyond me.
The biggest weakness the film suffers is the seeming lack of logical connections both in plot and the jokes. For example, when Jacob makes a comment that references “Fringe,” Nick and Lou look at each other and begin singing about his nerdiness. The joke falls flat — not only are we unsure of why “Fringe” is that nerdy, but also through it being unrelated to anything in the story. A major plot hole that I cannot get around is why they keep referring to it as Lou’s murder since he was alive in the future. Moreover, when Lou gets shot in the groin, why not just call an ambulance? Why go through all the trouble of time travel when an ambulance could have just as easily saved him? As far as I am aware, a shot to the groin is not an instant kill.
Perhaps the more bizarre element of the film is that the writers insisted on attributing consciousness to the Hot Tub: Why does it choose to send them in the future when it was programmed to send them into the past? Why does it care about saving Lou?
And what the hell is up with Chevy Chase’s character? He appears briefly right after the trio are transported into the future and offers some wisdom before evaporating. His appearance is never explained, nor does he make any other appearance in the film, despite the fact that the movie explains all of the different aspects of the Hot Tub. Is he supposed to be the Hot Tub’s personification? Or is he a ghost? Some force in the Universe? Unexplained, illogical and pointless.
I would be remiss to pretend that the lack of originality in “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” has no saving grace. Paradoxically, the conception of the future seems startlingly precise simply because of its lack of originality. From self-driving cars to portable television screens, the vision of the future seems incredibly plausible because current technologies are taken and are given a futuristic rendering.
“Hot Tub Time Machine 2” is not even remotely entertaining. After watching this movie, I wish could go back into the past and stop myself from buying a ticket. With two hours of jokes falling flat, spare yourselves the money and headache this movie will cost.
Rating: 0.5 stars