Jury duty, head lice, chlamydia—just a few of the things we'd hoped to get before a sequel to 2010's utterly inessential Hot Tub Time Machine. To that movie's small credit: Whenever star John Cusack smirked and shambled his way out of midlife crisis, there was a glimmer of '80s past. The Better Off Dead actor doesn't return for another dip (depending on whom you trust, he either got snubbed by the producers or snobbed out), and his absence is calamitous. Left behind are three distinctly underwritten supporting characters, Lou (Rob Corddry), a raging jerk who's parlays time travel into heavy-metal fame and Google invention, Nick (Craig Robinson), a pop star who steals other people's hits before they even know they've written them, and Jacob (Clark Duke), a failure-to-launch son.
After Lou is shotgun-blasted in the groin—Steve Pink's sequel is splattery and unpleasant in tone—the trio plunges 10 years into the future (don't ask) to track down the culprit. As with any free-associating comedy, some putdowns invariably hit the mark: The grizzled older Lou looks like "Gandalf the Poor," while graying Nick resembles an "adviser to Lando Calrissian." But mainly, we're squirming through long scenes of gay panic (a future hit TV show, Choozy Doozy, forces anal sex on its contestants) while chirpy new friend Adam Scott veers through a 24-hour drug trip. Look, the movie didn't have to cure cancer or anything. But sans the original's redemptive nostalgia or any newfound cleverness, it's just a manic, flop-sweat-drenched mess.
Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf
|Release date:||Friday February 20 2015|
Cast and crew