Experts recommend frequent cleaning of the hot harvest of bacteria that is a well-used Jacuzzi. Fans plopping into the energetically crass petri swamp of male-humiliation and body-dysfunction humor that is "Hot Tub Time Machine 2," however, surely aren't hoping for a sanitized experience.
And yet this sequel to the 2010 comedy about time-transported losers, with returning writer Josh Heald and director Steve Pink, is a noticeably peppier romp, with the gang — hedonistic jerk Lou (
What counts are agreeably surreal jokes about the future (homicidal smart cars, exponentially more disturbing reality TV), the absence of professional killjoy John Cusack — a condescending weight lifted — and the addition of
"HTTM" is one of the few raunch franchises ("Anchorman" is another) openly honest about finding the willing descent of dissatisfied, near-suicidal males endlessly funny. But where that MO turned the first film irredeemably sour and misogynistic, it's more merrily self-referential here, and doesn't hijack the generally loopy tone. (One way to pare the women-hating: Ignore them almost entirely!)
Ultimately, "2" is hit-and-run humor as hit or miss as any comedy of its ilk. If one has to sit in front of a jet spray of degradation gags, better it feel like the occasional seltzer spritz than a fire hose blast to the crotch.
'Hot Tub Time Machine 2'
Rated: R for crude sexual content, language, graphic nudity, drug use, violence.
Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes