“Hot Tub Time Machine 2” delivers exactly what can be expected from raunchy comedy

By Cayla Bush
Staff Writer

Most raunchy comedies follow a formula that’s plagued the movie industry for years: make a crude, slightly stupid comedy, score big at the box office then milk the success as long as possible by making sequels. The formula has been tested and, often, failed miserably, with sequels rarely living up to their predecessors and becoming more of a nuisance than comedy gold.

This was my expectation when I sat in the theater to watch “Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” the sequel to the cult hit about a hot tub that allows its drunken enjoyers to travel through time. Sadly, I was not disappointed, and true to other films following the tradition, the second installment is an offensively raunchy, almost-there attempt at besting the story and success of the first movie.

Don’t get me wrong, there are more laughs than I expected, touching scenes and a vague attempt to develop characters, but at best, the movie is decent. This is, in part, due to the film’s continual reference to Adam (played by John Cusack in the first film) despite him being nowhere to be found in the sequel. Had the movie focused on the search for Adam, similar to the “Hangover” series, the movie might have a fighting chance.

As far as returning characters are concerned, Nick (Craig Robinson) delivers again as the hopelessly lovable goofball, Jacob (Clark Duke) remains uninteresting and unimportant and the character development of Lou (Rob Corddry) simply fails. Without Cusack in the film, it’s hard to find Lou lovable; he’s tolerable at best.

The crudity in the film, although slightly muted, is more for a cheap thrill than anything else and the concept and storyline is complex enough to be a farce of the “Back to the Future” series.  At the very least, the cheap references to Adam throughout the film led to a subplot that should have been explored throughout the movie, but to my dismay, it was not.

Although Adam is missing, the crew has the misfortune of finding his son, Adam Jr. (played by Adam Scott), who serves as a pitiful substitute for the missing fourth member of the friend group.

The movie’s take on time travel has all the necessities of a macho-comedy, replete with technology specific to the male genitalia and half naked or barely dressed women. There is also offensive mocking of homosexuality (including a scene involving two members of the quartet being forced to have sex with each other on national television) and dressing in a traditionally feminine manner (men wearing skirts and capris are, for some reason, a big deal in the film).

If a dude-bro, “I’m only here for the laughs” kind of movie is all you’re after, and you’re OK with offensive jokes, “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” is the movie for you. It does not disappoint in the raunchy comedy formula — there are enough laugh-worthy moments to make the movie worth paying for if you have no other purpose for seeing the movie than needing mindless entertainment.

If, for some odd reason, you’re searching for something more from a raunchy comedy, this is not the movie to choose, although if you’ve kept up with the formula for this type of film, I’m sure this comes as no surprise.

Movie: “Hot Tub Time Machine 2”
Rating 3/5


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