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A Review of "Hot Tub Time Machine 2" (2015)

You know what a clear sign of a bad movie is?  When you find yourself thinking that you need to justify why you watched it in the first place.

I'm sitting here going, "Oh man, I can't just dive into this thing.  I have to set it up so people understand my movie-watching decisions or else they might think I'm some kind of fool.  Who would voluntarily watch Hot Tub Time Machine 2?  And why would they think anybody needs to be told that it's a bad movie?"

But y'all don't give a crap why I watched it, right?  All that matters is that I did and I hated it.

HTTM2 is the kind of movie that leads you to saying things nobody should ever say, like, "They really didn't grasp the intricacies and subtle humor of Hot Tub Time Machine."  It's a movie so off-the-mark that I'm amazed it exists.  How could the same director, writer, and cast make something that misfires so badly?

It's a perfect example of a subgenre of comedy that I'll call "dickhead humor."  It's a very strange form.  There's no character-based humor or situational comedy or setups and punchlines or physical comedy.  It's just a group of sarcastic assholes trying to be as mean to each other as possible.

Here's what I mean.  The heroes dickheads of HTTM2 go to a future world where things are mostly the same, but just different enough to be weird. iPads double as fleshlights and men sometimes wear skirts, but cars don't fly and there aren't robot butlers anywhere.  You could do some fun things with that, but instead of exploring their world and looking for the funny, the dickheads just look at the future versions of each other and spend five minutes trying to come up with the most insulting "you look like" zinger.  (The most neutral was probably, "You look like an egg that was laid by another egg.")

In small doses, I can see how that might be funny.  Maybe if you used that as a short break from a heavier plot.  But HTTM2 doesn't serve you anything else.  It's just a big plate of asshole crackers arranged to spell "fuck you."

It's like they started to write some other jokes and then gave up.  After the first round of "you look like," they have about two minutes of exposition where you think they're setting stuff up.  And then?  They just launch into another round of "you look like."  They even call back to it in the end credits.  They actually think this is why you came to watch this movie - so three dickheads could sit around zinging each other for minutes on end.

I guess some people like that kind of thing.  Maybe.  I haven't met those people.  I have a feeling we wouldn't want to watch movies together.

It gets so much crueler as it goes on - Rob Corddry's character most of all.  It escalates to a point where he causes somebody to get raped, provokes somebody else to a suicide attempt, gets previously-mentioned rape victim sent to the hospital, provokes a guy's bride-to-be into a jealous and self-destructive rage, and then tops it all off by having sex with the drunk bride-to-be at her wedding.  Some people find this funny, I guess.  As for me, I watched this movie the same week I saw that Game of Thrones episode where Ramsay sics his wolf-hounds on a baby, and I was seriously conflicted about whether I was more eager to see him or Rob Corddry's character get horribly murdered.

You know how vile this movie is?  Of all the shit I just mentioned, the rape joke is the only part that's actually close to being funny.  They almost pulled it off - there's actually a really funny moment where Corddry, through contrivances I'm not going to detail here, instigates a virtual reality rape and inadvertently gets himself suckered into the victim end of it.  He and Craig Robinson have a great bit where their expressions do all the talking and it looks like Corddry might have to own up to the consequences of his actions.  That part is the punchline.  You end the scene there and it's actually kinda funny.  At the very least, it's a joke.  But then he gets to weasel out of it and the movie just goes back to him being a dickhead again.

Let me rephrase that.  This is a movie with such despicable people that my complaint is that one of them wasn't raped.

Remember my review of Hell and Back?  I consider that movie to be among the worst five I've ever seen in large part because of its pathetic rape jokes.  How horrible does your character have to be that I'm suddenly in the "yeah, let's rape him" camp?

I keep referring to "Rob Corddry" here as if he's the problem, and that's really not fair.  The dude did what he could with the material and that's all you can ask of him.  But what made him funny in the first movie was that he was a schlubby asshole who always ended up paying for his mistakes.  If you're going to make a character an unredeemable asshole, you can't have him keep coming out on top.  That's not why we like unredeemable assholes.

The movie actually has the balls to tack on an emotional "all is forgiven" sequence at the end where the characters learn a lesson and apologize for their shitty behavior.  In the span of two minutes, they hug it out and pretend that their humility has made them better people and we're supposed to think it's a happy ending.

What?  No.  You don't get to do that, HTTM2.  I just watched you people dwell in shit and human misery for ninety minutes.  You think a hug and an apology is enough to win me back?  You're like the abusive husband who says, "I only hit you because I love you so much."  Fuck you, HTTM2.  I don't need you in my life.  You're not welcome here anymore.

My Rating: 1 / 5