Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is Terminator meets Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and they make a baby named Agatha Christie.
OK. Not every movie about time travel can be Terminator. But there is a homicidal robot car bent on revenge and restoring its honor.
There are plenty of drugs, including the electric lady bug, and sex. There is a sloppy space-time continuum conundrum that is crucial to the plot. There is a murder mystery that might or might not have happened. There is no John Cusack. Not in person anyway. He is still part of the story, just not in the story.
For a sequel, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 falls somewhere between Back to the Future 2 and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. Some of the jokes in Hot Tub Time Machine 2 are the same as in the original. The gags are the same. The insults are the same. But most importantly the laughs are the same. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is just as funny as the first.
Adam Scott, as Adam Yates Jr., the son of Cusack’s character, takes over for Cusack. Like stepping into a hot tub, it takes a while to warm up to the new Adam. But once the new Adam is in, he is all in.
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 gives us a glimpse into the not-so-distant future. It only goes 10 years forward, sort of. But that’s not important.
What is important is that there are self-driving cars in the future. They are smart cars, really smart cars. They show up when you need one, take you where you need to go and need plenty of positive reinforcement. That is very important.
There are also suicide-preventing force fields and really cool cell phones. There is The Strut and Choozy Doozy, a couple of discouraging examples of where music and television are headed.
Then there is the whole reason Lou (Rob Corddry), Nick (Craig Robinson) and Jacob (Clark Duke) time travel again. Someone shot Lou. To keep him alive, they need to figure out who did it. They travel into the future to find the culprit.
That’s really the entirety of the plot. Don’t try to poke holes in it, just enjoy it.
But even after two movies, one mystery remains. What’s in the Cincinnati box?
Maybe Hot Tub Time Machine 3 will shed some light on that question.
Hot Tub Time Machine is rated R and is in theaters Friday, February 20.