Granger on Movies: 'The Hot Tub Time Machine 2'
Despite its inherent absurdity, the original "Hot Tub Time Machine" (2010) was really funny, as middle-aged men traveled back in time to try to make wiser decisions in their youth.
Previously suicidal Lou Dorchen (Rob Corddry) was able to realize his dream by joining Motley Crue -- a.k.a. Motley Lou -- and founding Google -- a.k.a. Lougle. He became a womanizing, substance-abusing billionaire who neglects his nerdy, resentful son Jacob (Clark Duke), who serves as his butler. Meanwhile, Nick Webber (Craig Robinson) went from rags-to-riches by ripping off songs that hadn't been written yet.
During a bacchanal at Lou's New Orleans mansion, a mysterious assailant shoots him in the groin. When Jacob and Nick drag bleeding Lou into the magical Kodiak Lodge hot tub, they emerge in 2025 in an alternate universe, where Neil Patrick Harris is president, Jennifer Lawrence stars in a Meryl Streep biopic called "Streepin' it Real," and "smart cars" turn on you if you're not polite.
Screenwriter Josh Heald and director Steve Pink compensate for John Cusack's absence by adding his alternate-universe son, an insufferable groom-to-be (Adam Scott) who joins them in trying to stop a killer. And, yes, Chevy Chase does another cameo as the repairman.
Stuffed with references to genitalia and far-better time-travel movies like "Looper" and "Terminator," the entire concept is witless, homophobic and misogynistic.
Adding insult along with injury, there's a TV gameshow called "Choozy Doozy," hosted by Christian Slater, featuring virtual-reality anal rape.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Hot Tub Time Machine 2" is a crass, trivial 3. Pull the plug and empty the Jacuzzi!
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