Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Movie Review

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WARNING: SPOILERS

In the long slew of gross out movies that Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson seem to be fond of making this is probably their darkest yet. The crew from the previous film is back, with exception to Adam (John Cusack), and are shoved into the future. There they try to find out what happens to Lou (Rob Corddry) and why people are trying to kill him. As they bumble about they run into a few new faces and they find out that his life, as well as a few others, are completely in shambles.

Now usually some sequels either extend the series or do a good job at filling all plot holes. This successfully only adds more plot holes and leaves the previous ones unanswered. They only briefly bring back Chevy Chase‘s character (the Hot Tub Repairman) for two sentences and then disappears again. Thus not answering why he’s there nor how he can just come and go as he pleases. They joke about Cusack‘s character disappearing and then don’t explain why. Then they form new plot holes like why Lou decided to become a jerk again since at the end of the previous movie he seemed rather generous with his friends and liked his son. So he went from loud lummox of the group, to being the most immoral person in the film. It’s suggested he slept with peoples wifes and did more drugs then before with reason as to why and would verbally abuse his coworkers. They also bring up Adam Jr (Adam Scott) who is suppose to be Adam’s son, but don’t explain that well.

The crux of any comedy is the jokes. They deviated from the previous formula they had and make just about every joke darker or gross. One of the grossest scenes in the movie highlights the slow moral degrade of most TV game shows, but it takes it too far when they do more then imply possible forced sexual acts. It ruined the latter half of the movie for me since it made me wonder if I heard sounds of rape or just someone who was grunting in pain due to a lot of electricity flowing through their body. Other times they are just hating on Jacob (Clark Duke) and it isn’t funny because most of it is from Lou and he has no room to talk. It’s a total oxymoron for someone who has poor impulse control to throw shade about his son who’s just hasn’t found himself yet.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 wasted a movie going experience by rehashing the previous storyline. With the small, and ignorable plot holes, of the previous movie were only exasperated in the fact that they were brought back up with stupid dialogue, and just as quickly dismiss. Then sprinkle some very disgusting humor and offset it with other forms of humor and it makes them feel largely incongruous. Quality doesn’t seem to mean anything this time since the jokes are guilty of being average or bland. None of the characters developed any and even at the end they are only slightly less crass. So it seemed like a fruitless endeavor for them.

I’d wait for this one on DVD before thinking about seeing it.

5.5/10

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Movie Review

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Walter Mitty is a ‘average guy’ who feels like he isn’t living the life he wants. So he daydreams frequently. These daydreams are elaborately hilarious and endearing. Many end during a interruption by someone or whenever whatever fantasy is fulfilled. While struggling to stay in reality he works at a soon defunct newspaper that is being transitioned by a obnoxious and mildly abusive boss. Meanwhile he struggles to talk to a new found office love and move his Mom into a new apartment.

This is a great self discovery movie. To a certain extent this is like the midlife crisis that doesn’t end horribly. It captures what most people wonder: does my existence matter? Through his journey he rediscovers himself, his accomplishments, and realizes he does matter to others. His life isn’t anything over the top, but he learns to enjoy it and what he has accomplished. The most heart warming part is the people who recognize his accomplishments, like the elusive photographer he worked with. He even learns to deal with his panicked imagination due it hampering his love life a few times and it makes him realize things aren’t always so complex.

What’s really cute in how the story pushes itself along. It doesn’t drown you in facts about many characters in a matter of minutes, unlike LA Confidential. Where ever Mitty is a little clue or something will pop up and it will bring back a memory, or his imagination, will remind him of something or encourage him to move forward. After that other characters will comment on his work and what he’s done. It’s like a long autobiography with other peoples commentary. It’s really different method of story telling compared to most self involved movies.

The story’s direction is rather linear and slow paced sometimes. It comes to a point where Mitty has to go globetrotting in order to continue the story. It was rather predictable considering if he didn’t then I would have only sat in the movie theater for about 30 minutes. Then there are many scenes that are nothing but 3 minute + montages of beautiful scenery. These two factors will probably lose the movie points with some, but as stated before: the story and warm characters keep it watchable.

While Ben Stiller usually plays the offbeat male roles really well, this one seems to stick out amongst the rest. It seems to be more of a earnest then most of his characters with less erratic qualities. He did a great job showing sincerity for other people while in stressful situations. Kristen Wiig, while always funny, doesn’t show much of a stretch for this role. It almost felt standard from seeing some of her other characters, but it was like a toned down version of all of them. Adrian Martinez did a great job capturing the awkward assistant that is always willing to help. Although I felt it was cut short, because he didn’t have that many scenes and probably could have been in a few more to show his importance in Mittys life. Adam Scott was great as a passive aggressive turd, but it seemed too similar to his comedic style. So it wasn’t really anything new. Sean Penn was a great addition to the mystery character that helps pull the movie forward.

I really like this film. Everything is great about this movie, except the long montages. It isn’t the Forest Gump of this generation, but it’s really damn close. What’s beautiful about this movie is that it takes a slow and silly approach to showing how everyone has a purpose and how there is always someone who needs them. It’s really heartwarming, and although not a traditional holiday film it still captures the wonderfully soft and warm compassionate side of the human spirit.

Please see this in theaters.

8.5/10