If you were a fan of 2010’s Hot Tub Time Machine, get ready for another soak.
Note: I’ll try very hard not to give you any spoilers, but know this — this movie is friggin’ hilarious from beginning to end.
If you haven’t seen the first film (which, if you haven’t, for shame), I wouldn’t panic too hard; this sequel does a great job of filling you in on the necessary history without hitting you over the head with, “previously on Hot Tub Time Machine…” Yes, John Cusack (a.k.a. “Adam”) is absent from this cast, but as weird as it is to say, I didn’t even miss him. At first, I was apprehensive about not seeing one of my favorite actors return for the sequel, but the addition of Adam Scott blended in quite nicely and seemingly gave the returning cast more opportunity to stretch their improv chops…and it shows.
So…here’s the story (well, as much as I can tell you without spoiling it):
It’s 2015, and Lou (Rob Corddry) is still a rich douchebag thanks to his going back in time and stealing some of the world’s greatest inventions. He’s still married to Adam’s sister Kelly, Nick Webber is a Grammy-winning musician (after also stealing a bunch of songs and making them his own), with Lou and Kelly’s kid Jacob (Clark Duke) living with his parents and yet inexplicably working for Lou as his butler/valet.
When Lou is shot somewhere hilariously painful at his own party, things are set into motion; we discover that not only does Lou have an awesomely tacky home, he’s also got a “Batcave” of sorts where the precious — and stolen — hot tub from the first film is hidden. Of course, the same tactics are in order to get the machine to work, and they find themselves thrust forward to 2025 in trying to figure out who “injured” Lou, and it all snowballs from there…in a good way.
Of course when they get to the future, it’s Jacob that has to explain everything (prompting the most hilarious and yet melodically pleasing insult song you’ll ever hear) with references to time-travel films like Terminator, Back to the Future and shows like “Fringe” scattered throughout for good measure.
The addition of Adam Scott is the shot in the comedy arm needed for this film, allowing for more horseplay and improv. When it comes to a scene I like to call “Choozy Doozy” (by the way, if this movie is any indication of what life will be like in 2025 – we watch some truly twisted s**t in the future), I couldn’t stop laughing. Scott’s character is what I like to describe as “Ben Wyatt’s nerdery on steroids,” as Adam — also his name in the film — runs around in what I like to call a “Utili-mini-kilt” with leggings underneath. He’s disgustingly in love with his soon-to-be-wife (Gillian Jacobs, “Community”) and his idea of getting wild is drinking “room-temperature almond milk.”
Some of the better gags from the first film appear in the sequel, including the “you look like” when the three see what they look like in 2025 and of course, a certain package makes a return appearance.
Other hilarious performers in the film include Jason Jones (Corddry’s former colleague at “The Daily Show”), Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley,” “The Meltdown With Jonah And Kumail”) and a surprise cameo that many of my colleagues have spoiled in their own reviews. I won’t do that to you, though, darlings. You really need to see it for yourself.
And then there’s one of my teenage crushes: Christian Slater (NSFW for language)!
It gets even crazier from there if you can believe it.
My favorite part, though, has to be the ONE thing I could totally see as a SkyNet invention: emotional smart cars. There’s no need for owning your own vehicle in the future, as these little guys will come get you as soon as they sense you need a ride…but they also have feelings and are incredibly sensitive.
And if there’s ONE person in the world that could piss off an inanimate object…well, you get the rest.
Filled with one-liners and hilarious sight gags like the Electric Ladybug (above), Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is a fun film that makes you wish you could find your “Great White Buffalo” and make your dreams come true. The film also has heart: I found myself tearing up a couple of times between laughing so hard, my sides ached. A film that can make me cry from both laughter and heartwarming silliness is always going to be something I’ll quickly recommend. I knew I loved the film when I came home after the movie and began laughing all over again while viewing the trailer on TV.
And yes, it’s raunchy, slightly juvenile and male-driven, but let’s be honest: it’s not Shakespeare, nor does it ever claim to be. HTTM2 is exactly what it advertises: a raucous, raunchy good time at the movies…and maybe, just maybe, you’ll think about the crazy s**t you and YOUR friends did growing up and what you’d do differently if you had your OWN hot tub time machine.
If these are things that don’t appeal to your nature, I suggest you pull the stick out and get a sense of humor.
I give this film a “High Five.”
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 opens nationwide Friday, February 20th. Go and get your soak on.
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