“Hot Tub Time Machine 2” resurrects the time-traveling, R-rated antics of the cabin crew, with Adam Scott stepping in for John Cusack in the Steve Pink-directed follow-up to the 2010 hit comedy.
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Starring Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Gillian Jacobs and Chevy Chase, Paramount and MGM’s Oscar-weekend release is tipped to earn $15 million or more. It was pushed back from its original Christmas Day release date, when it was set to square off against “The Interview” with Seth Rogen and James Franco.
See what top critics are saying about “Hot Tub Time Machine 2”:
The Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore calls it “a flop-sweaty cash grab that gives a bad name to sequels in which key talent has jumped ship. … Suffering from much more than awkwardness over the absence of the original’s top-billed Cusack, though it is certainly awkward about that, the film makes us wonder why we enjoyed spending time with his three returning costars in the first place. … Scott fills the cast’s likeability void nicely. But the character bears the brunt of the meanest gags in an intensely mean-spirited, arguably misogynistic film, one so dumb about its attempts to wring humor from taboos that it at one point has the victim of forcible sodomy pay a dreamy compliment to the size of his assailant’s genitals.”
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USA Today’s Claudia Puig gives it two stars out of four, writing, “Some of the gags are stupid-funny, others are just puerile, making for a hit-or-miss experience. The screenplay presents the thinnest of plots. … Don’t expect consistency or much logic.” Altogether, “Like the first foray, the sequel is a good-natured raunch-fest that induces eye-rolling about as much as it does laughter. … For those who liked the first movie and find a plethora of penis jokes hilarious, this is a fitting sequel. But others should stay away.”
The Guardian’s Jordan Hoffman says it’s worth one star out of five: “I hated Hot Tub Time Machine 2 so much I now can’t even think about the first one without feeling annoyed. This may suggest that the only solution is to go and make a third one to rescue the franchise, but really it may be time to leave well enough alone.” Due to a flimsy plot “where nothing is at stake, … even the brilliant Robinson, whose every utterance gets at least a chuckle, can’t save the movie. … truly, there’s nothing besides repeated use of swear words in lieu of wit.”
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New York Post’s Kyle Smith notes, “Within five minutes you’ll guess why Cusack, not overly encumbered with big film roles these days, didn’t return for the sequel: The script is monotonous, meandering and witless, frantically ramming together middle-school non-ideas such as a guy being forced to rape another guy on a reality show, or a guy’s testicles projectile-exploding into the faces of two other guys, or a guy being shot in both the head and the man-parts. … The smart plotting of the first film is completely gone.”