A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is the sequel to 2010's Hot Tub Time Machine. It's extremely vulgar, with no real character redemption; it's intermittently funny but inherently forgettable. Violence (typically played for humor) includes guns, shooting, and blood. A topless woman and a sex act are shown; male-on-male sex act is implied. Brief male nudity includes butt and genitals. Language is extremely strong, with tons of uses of "f--k," "s--t," etc., and sexual innuendo is crass and constant. Heavy drinking and drug use (cocaine, fake hallucinogenic drugs) are depicted in several scenes, and the movie implies that some of the characters may have problems with addiction. A bottle of Jack Daniels is shown. Fans of the original movie will want to see it, but it seems to have been made without a real purpose in mind (other than making money).
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What's the story?
In the altered world created in the previous movie, Lou (Rob Corddry) is an egomaniacal rock star and an Internet billionaire; his son, Jacob (Clark Duke), acts as his butler; and Nick (Craig Robinson) is a pop star, having stolen countless tunes from his former timeline. When Lou is shot by a mysterious assailant, the trio hits the magic hot tub again to save his life. But this time they're unexpectedly transported into the future, to 2024, where they meet Adam Jr. (Adam Scott), the grown son of their absent pal, Adam (John Cusack, who opted not to appear in the film). They discover that their own futures aren't so bright, and that new changes need to be made. But first they have to get ahold of the secret chemical that makes the time machine work.
Is it any good?
Whereas the first vulgar, silly movie, Hot Tub Time Machine, had a lot of heart, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 seems to have been created in a void, with no real purpose other than to make money. In the first movie, characters set out to find love, courage, and direction, but the goal in this one is literally to save Lou's private parts after he gets shot. It's not really enough to fuel an entire story, and so, before too long, the characters mainly just riff on sex-related jokes and jokes at one another's expense.
It's telling that Cusack hose not to be involved this time around; poor Adam Scott can't fill in the missing chemistry from the original quartet. Some attempt is made to make Duke's character the new sympathetic center, but he's too fused to his comical sidekick role from the first movie. Chevy Chase reprises his role as the enigmatic hot tub repairman, but he's not nearly as funny here. Overall, this Hot Tub has a few forgettable laughs, but is mostly a waste of -- you guessed it -- time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Hot Tub Time Machine 2's depiction of alcohol and drug use/abuse. Are there any realistic consequences? What do you think would happen in real life? Is it OK to use the subject of addiction/substance use for humor?
Violence is the catalyst for the story, but how much violence is shown? How do the characters deal with conflict?
What are the characters' attitudes toward sex and love? How do they view heterosexual vs. homosexual sex? What message does that send?
How does this sequel compare to the original movie? What's a good reason to make a sequel? What's a bad one?
- In theaters: February 20, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: May 19, 2015
- Cast: Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Adam Scott
- Director: Steve Pink
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: crude sexual content and language throughout, graphic nudity, drug use and some violence
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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