Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Blu-ray Review
The elephant in the room when discussing HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 is the fact that John Cusack didn’t return for the sequel. The trailers, TV spots and most of the press tour didn’t really acknowledge his absence and depending on your stance on Cusack, that was either a good thing or a deal breaker when it came to checking out the sequel. Personally, I realized after re-watching the original that Cusack had very little to do with how much I liked the film and I was less concerned with his absence and more concerned with the fact the sequel wouldn’t be set in the 80’s. If anything, I thought the 80’s setting was responsible for more jokes than Cusack. But the sequel managed to find it’s groove in a made up future and the stars that did return kept the jokes flowing at a breakneck pace.
We pick up with Lou (Corddry), Nick (Robinson) and Jacob (Duke) in their new future. Lou, of course, invented “Lougle”, Nick is busy ripping off pop stars and Jacob really doesn’t have much to do. The trio reunites at a part that Lou is holding, but things turn nasty when someone shoots Lou in the crotch with a shotgun. Desperate to save their friend, Nick and Jacob grab Lou and jump back into the hot tub time machine in an attempt to figure out who shot Lou and prevent it from happening. But as their spiritual guide (Chevy Chase) explains, the hot tub takes you where you need to go, not where you want to go and apparently, they needed to go to the future, where Jacob is rich and successful, Nick is a pop culture punch line and Lou is a loser.
The setup creates some opportunity for humor, most notably an awkward situation with some drug side effects and a stint on a game show, but the real humor comes from the chemistry between the three leads. They play great off each other and their simple exchanges back and forth really keep the movie going and memorable. The trio meets up with Adam’s (Cusack in the original) son Adam Jr. (Adam Scott) and he plays the straight and dorky guy to the crass, obnoxious trio. He’s kind of a cross between Adam and Jacob in the first movie, but his inclusion is really just a plot device. I like Adam Scott fine, but he didn’t have much purpose here and only served as a punch-line to bigger jokes or to move the “story”. The real comedy came from the original trio.
The original HOT TUB TIME MACHINE was surprisingly funny, but the sequel is funny in a different kind of way. The sequel has a lot of home run laughs that will have you rolling on the floor, but it also gets really, really crass to the point of being unnecessary. I wasn’t as bothered by the crass humor as much as some might be, but the movie would have been just as enjoyable without the barrage of sex and toilet humor. I assume the studio knew that Cusack wasn’t necessary to make a funny movie, but I’m not sure they realized just how funny the trio was together. They didn’t need the crass to be funny, they just needed opportunities to play off each other.
I might like HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 more than most, but I just can’t get enough of Corddry, Robinson and Duke together. Hopefully, the sequel was successful enough to merit a third movie and if so, maybe we can get the trio to go back in time again. The 80’s are the easiest decade to make fun of, but the 70’s and 90’s aren’t far behind.
Video: HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 looks great on Blu-ray.
Audio: The audio was fine.
Audio Commentary: Includes discussion from Director Steve Pink and Writer Josh Heald, this is a nice and easy commentary to listen to and one that you should definitely check out if you’re a fan of the film.
The Making of HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 (5:05): A typical, clip-filled making of featurette with interviews from the cast and crew.
The Future as Seen from the Hot Tub! (13:24): This is separated into five segments that include: The World of the Future, Choozy Doozy, Fashion Forward, Smart Cars and Adam Takes a (Drug) Trip.
You’re in the Hot Tub Now! (31:01): Another bunch of short featurettes that include: Stay by Nick Webber (and Lisa Loeb…), Father and Son, The Webber Strut, Gary Winkle, Wedding Day Climax, Adam Has a Son?!?, Who Shot Lou?!?, Where Would You go In a Time Machine?, Who is Steve Pink?, Inside the Hot Tub.
Deleted Scenes/Extended Scenes (4:53): Four, short deleted scenes that are amusing and worth watching.
Bloopers and General F%$# Ups by the Cast (8:33): No explanation needed.