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Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2 stars)

Lame sequel from Steve Pink, with Rob Corddry and Adam Scott

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Hot Tub Time Machine 2

The moderate success of Hot Tub Time Machine owed as much to a resurgence of nostalgia about middle-aged machismo as it did to hefty servings of crass, frat-boy humour and a plethora of anarchic pop-culture references. Returning director Steve Pink’s sequel loses John Cusack’s morose hero Adam and focuses instead on the sillier antics of his co-stars.

This new adventure centres on the less likable character of Lou (Rob Corddry) who, together with pals Nick (Craig Robinson) and Jacob (Clark Duke), uses the titular time machine to head forward to 2025 in a bid to discover who shot Lou in the groin in 2015. With Cusack absent, Adam Scott fills in as Adam’s grown-up son, but he’s largely an onlooker as the team find themselves in a Terminator-style alternate universe.

A running gag features Lou, who's increasingly addled by recreational drugs, venting his impatience through foul-mouthed rants about the labyrinthine contortions of their situation, but viewers are unlikely to experience such an intense sense of engagement. The various scenarios created are little more than an excuse for the kind of low-brow, genital-related humour that were once a staple of 80s comedy, with Chevy Chase cameoing again as the hot tub repairman.

The original film managed to subvert such crudeness in favour of darker notions about the responsibilities of adulthood but, despite frenetic playing by decent performers Corddry, Duke and Scott, this over-complicated sequel never amounts to more than scattershot cheap laughs. Fans of the first film will note the problematic lack of balance; without Cusack’s notably sour contribution, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 sinks in a sea of its own bodily fluids.

General release from Fri 10 Apr.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

  • 2 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 93 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Steve Pink
  • Written by: Josh Heald
  • Cast: Adam Scott, Angela Kerecz, Clark Duke
  • UK release: 10 April 2015

Lou (Corddry), Nick (Robinson) and Jacob (Duke) use the titular time machine to go to 2025, in an attempt to find out who shot Lou in the groin. John Cusack is sorely missed in this over-complicated sequel, which relies on crass, frat-boy humour and pop culture references for the few cheap laughs it manages to get.

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