* and 1/2 out of ****
Comedy sequels are a funny thing (pun unintended). They are rarely as humorous as the original, and – as far as the audience is concerned – merely serve as a reheated excuse to pay a visit to some beloved characters once again. While the first Hot Tub Time Machine was a legitimately hilarious (and extremely vulgar) movie that could have been nothing more than a punch line, it lacked the memorable characters of more mainstream comic offerings such as The Hangover or Anchorman. To be honest, most of the protagonists from Hot Tub Time Machine weren’t even very likable, with the exception of John Cussack’s and Crispin Glovers’ characters, neither of whom return for this second go round.
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is not without its laughs. It doesn’t, however, pack the out-of-breath outbursts of the first film…more like a continuous series of chuckles, just enough to carry you through to the end before the joke wears too thin. New Orleanians in particular may enjoy the film, as it is set and largely filmed in-and-around the Central Business District and the French Quarter. The basic premise sees Lou (Rob Corddry), Jacob (Clark Duke) and Nik (Craig Robinson) traveling to the future to find Lou’s killer from the past (huh?...I know). As in the first film, drunken antics and a random guy in a bear suit ensue.
The plot is an indiscernible mess of alternate time paths and multi-dimensional loops that you won’t pay much mind to, so it doesn’t matter that it makes no sense. All of the entertainment here revolves around the banter between the three returning amigos and the new addition of future goody-good Adam Yates (Adam Scott). Really, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 plays out like a fratastic, feature-length, stoner rendition of Seinfeld…nothing much happens, yet you still enjoy the ride. I’d bet roughly half the dialogue is improvised; there is also a lot of observational humor that many will miss. Still, the only joke that sticks with you hours later is a reoccurring gag where they all ad-lib analogies mocking each other’s appearances. The film also rewards fans with several inside jokes from the first movie, so new-comers to the series will find this one additionally hard to follow.
Those fond of the original will enjoy a second dip in this Jacuzzi…everyone else will find the water unwelcoming.
Where Y'at's Emily Hingle got to sit down with cast members Craig Robinson, Cark Duke and Rob Corddry during Mardi Gras to disucss their experience filming the sequel in New Orleans. You can watch see the discussion below: