Ice Cold Time Machine

Someone murdered Rob Corddry in the past. Now it’s the future, so Rob Corddry isn’t murdered yet because that was before which means Craig Robinson stole Lisa Loeb’s 1994 hit “Stay” in 2015.

Or something like that.

In 90-minutes of painful Hot Tub Time Machine 2, the listless, aimless, and endlessly stretched story never cares. Scenes feel arbitrary for the sake of gore or vomit. References to other (better) movies only increase the want to watch those instead. And without John Cusak as a ground? There is no movie except for the one the studio wanted.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 should have been filmed live from the set, no editing. Corddry, Robinson, and Clark Duke probably had a blast together. A chunk of this script is clearly random improvisation crudely stitched together between the thinnest of ideas. So, it’s like Whose Line is it Anyway, only a movie. And worse, meaning it would have been better as a one-off Whose Line skit.

… a major studio sequel produced for a handful of millions and looks like a chintzy, barely comprehensible stage show.

This sequel is crude. That is not a reference to the torrent of penis and sex jokes (it has plenty though). Rather, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is a major studio sequel produced for a handful of millions and looks like a chintzy, barely comprehensible stage show. Framing this clunker within a murder mystery is neither interesting nor entertaining. Corddry’s act is so detestable as Lou, it’s a wonder why anyone bothers to save him other than offering potential for another (*sigh*) sequel. The few successful outbursts are only signs of comedic lethargy and the thought of doing this again is nightmarish.

It is something to consider whether the first film blew up because of Lou, Nick (Robinson), and Jacob (Duke) or because Hot Tub Time Machine completely exploited the nuances of ’80s culture. Actually, this isn’t interesting. It was the latter, obviously. ’80s throwbacks hit their peak, and thus the illogical step is to swing the crew in the opposite direction generating this nonsense sequel which is – somehow – more nonsense than before. No more, please. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Movie]

Future selves @ 24:18

If a movie could appear any plainer, it would be a reality show. Forget the trumped up color of the original Hot Tub. Barely anything has been applied to this mess, which admittedly, considering the obsession with egregious post-production touch-up, is a bit relieving. Flesh tones are actually flesh tones.

The rest? It’s all perfectly passable. Sharpness is high. The digital origins are fine. Contrast is perky. Definition is excellent. Noise is a minor intrusion on only a few scenes.

Paramount’s encode drops no specific problems into the presentation, sort of a shame since it would be another, definitive reason not to sit through this dud. Instead, on a technical level, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 offers nothing to stir up a commotion. Commercials have more pizazz though. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Video]

That hot tub certainly causes a ruckus. LFE activity pops us as the crew slips through time, with a surrounding burst of water sloshing through the stereos and rears. There is little other action to even consider.

Much of the disc’s audio track is made up of heavy, HEAVY bass lines from various dance tracks. These are not subtle moments. They blast out at high volume, so it’s a track to be careful with if you’re watching at a sensitive time, say late at night when others are sleeping. Sounds like a wild party though at full volume. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Audio]

Returning director Steve Pink and writer Josh Heald offer a commentary track on the theatrical version, not the six-minute longer extended edition. Most of the content from the latter version is shoved into these bonuses. A making-of is purely designed to sell this movie, and two collections of featurettes total around 43-minutes of runtime. You’re in the Hot Tub Now focuses on specific scenes, The Future as Seen From the Hot Tub being slightly more broad. Deleted scenes make up most of the content from the extended version, and eight minutes of bloopers are genuinely funny. [xrr rating=3/5 label=Extras]


Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.

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