Jean-Paul’s Rating: 2/5 stars
Bottom Line: Another of those “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” comedies. Only a few good laughs. The cynicism is strong with this one.
The first “Hot Tub Time Machine” was a surprisingly good movie. It had laughs and a plot that worked despite the absolutely ridiculously premise. Much of the reason behind that is you cared about the characters. Number 2 is not that movie. Gone are the raucous group of friends who, while troubled, were still likable. They have been replaced with their douchy twins. This is a premise that can still succeed for a comedy, but that would require a group of writers who take the movie seriously instead of just trying to cash in on the magic of the first movie. Instead what we have are a series of lame jokes that get repeated over and over again to the point that it becomes its own lame joke that they keep repeating the same lame jokes. That’s not to say there are no laughs in the movie. Some hit their mark well, but even they are likely made better because only because you feel the need to laugh at something since you’ve already put your money down on a movie that is supposed to make you laugh.
I think the biggest problem with Number 2 was it expressed a high level of cynicism, but it was all directed inward at itself. There were a few “break the fourth wall” moments that were just oozing with “yes, we know this sucks”. None of the actors really seemed to have their heart in the movie. Of course, none of them are stellar actors, but they’re all decent comics and can really put on a show if the material is present.
I am pleased to report that there is one highlight in the movie. In the year 2025, Jessica Williams will be the host of “The Daily Show”. Yes, somehow they managed to release this movie the week after Jon Stewart’s retirement announcement and the call for Jessica Williams to be his replacement. That would have been a great commercial tie-in that would likely have led to more bodies in seats since this movie bombed hard at the box office. There were four people, including myself, in the theater when I watched it.