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'Hot Tub Time Machine 2' reviews are in...

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Five years after the hot tub bubbled up to the time-travel equivalent of 1.21 gigawatts, the folks behind Hot Tub Time Machine have dipped their feet back into the lukewarm water for a sequel. But not everyone dove back in: John Cusack, who starred in the original, opted to stay dry this time. In his place is Parks & Recreation‘s Adam Scott, who plays Cusack’s character’s son—in what can only be explained by the physics behind a bubble-bath wormhole.  

Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, and Clark Duke, however, are back, and their characters are profiting mightily from their knowledge of the present after their last trip back into the past. But money can’t buy happiness, man, and when Corddry’s internet gazillionaire is shot, the friends jump back into the tub in order to save him and solve the murder mystery. But instead of travelling backwards in time, they are sent to 2025. “It’s actually more of a Moebius Strip alternate future (‘like Fringe,’ [Duke’s character] jokes several times),” writes EW‘s Chris Nashawaty in his review. “There, screenwriter Josh Heald lets loose a wheezy barrage of pop culture gags about President Neil Patrick Harris and Jennifer Lawrence’s star turn in the Meryl Streep biopic, Streepin’ It Real. Jesus wept.”

I don’t know… I’d pay to see Streepin’ It Real

For the rest of EW‘s review and a survey of what other critics are saying, click below. 

Chris Nashawaty (Entertainment Weekly) ▼

“Even [Adam Scott] can’t rescue material this god-awful. Instead, he jumps right into the slew of gay-panic jokes, gross-out vomit gags, and punchlines that, contrary to director Steve Pink’s apparent belief, don’t get any funnier no matter how many times you repeat them. My only wish is that I could go back in time and watch Hot Tub Time Machine 2 with somebody else’s eyeballs.”

Stephen Holden (The New York Times)

“The original film’s flurry of joking pop-cultural references has become a white-out blizzard of allusions. Both movies are directed by Steve Pink, whose strategy is to keep the momentum so breathless that the story outpaces the mental agility of an audience with a presumed attention span of zero.”

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (The A.V. Club)

“And yet it’s watchable, which is the kind of faint praise that usually damns a movie, but in this case is a credit to Robinson’s and Corddry’s performances; the latter is impressively committed to inhabiting a manic, almost irredeemable character motivated only by a need to fill an empty void inside himself.”

Justin Chang (Variety)

“If Cusack made a poignant anchor for the first Hot Tub’s rose-tinted ’80s nostalgia, then Scott is the perfect avatar for a sequel that takes giddy aim at the self-absorbed metrosexual yuppies of today and tomorrow, whether he’s wearing a gray man-skirt or asking a bartender for a glass of ‘room-temperature almond milk.'”

John DeFore (Hollywood Reporter

“Adam 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.”

Drew McWeeny (HitFix)

Rob Corddry‘s character Lou is the apex predator of the modern movement of sociopathic comedy. … It’s tricky, because if you do it wrong, you create a character that is unbearable to watch. And even when you do it perfectly, part of the point is that this character is a horrible, horrible person. Most of the things that Lou says in the film are obscene, often hateful as well. It’s impressive to see just how dedicated to the character Corddry is.”

Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle

It has a handful of decent laughs, on average about one every 15 minutes. That’s something, but it’s not even close to enough, especially in a movie with nothing else to offer. It’s colossally tasteless, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that we notice that it’s tasteless, because we would never notice if the jokes were funny. The movie’s big event, for example, shows one of the main characters getting shot in the penis.”

Richard Roeper (Chicago Sun-Times

Given the considerable comedic talents of Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Adam Scott et al., and the ragged, what-the-hell charms of the original Hot Tub Time Machine, it’s surprising how rotten this movie is from start to finish. It’s a dull, lazy, scattershot would-be comedy about a group of mostly unlikable characters who have all the depth of the Three Stooges in the Curly Joe era.”

Michael O’Sullivan (Washington Post)

“The film isn’t bad, although it is somewhat repetitive. If it has plot holes, conceptual laziness and an overreliance on dumb-insult humor, the film at least seems to know it. There are lots of self-referential jokes that acknowledge its own stupidity.”

Stephen Whitty (Newark Star-Ledger)

“What year is this, anyway? The male characters are hard-partying blowhards, the female charcters are hectoring nags and anything remotely gay is either ridiculous or revolting. Hot Tub Time Machine may take us on a trip into the future. But it’s stubbornly stuck in the unliberated past.”

Robert Abele (Los Angeles Times)

HTTM is one of the few raunch franchises … openly honest about finding the willing descent of dissatisfied, near-suicidal males endlessly funny. But where that MO turned the first film irredeemably sour and misogynistic, it’s more merrily self-referential here, and doesn’t hijack the generally loopy tone.”

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Overall Metacritic rating (1-100): 30

Rotten Tomatoes: 15 percent

Rated: R

Length: 93 minutes

Starring Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Clark Duke, Adam Scott

Directed by Steve Pink

Distributor: Paramount

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