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Plot Details: This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

American Success Story

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015) on IMDb

Plot Overview

“Hot Tub Time Machine 2” brings us three of the four characters who in “Machine 1” had returned to 1986 to make better life choices. Nick Webber (Craig Robinson), a black musician without much talent, has since made a career out of stealing songs from artists before they were released, claiming them as his own. Lou Dorchen (Rob Cord­dry) has become an unkempt rock star, head­lining the band “Motley Lou” and is a tech­nology mogul, inventor of “Lougle” whose main competitor Yahoo! doesn't even exist in this time line. Lou's nerdy son Jacob (Clark Duke) has ridden on the coat­tails of his father's success. It is now the year 2015.

When Lou is tapped in the stones by an unknown tuxedoed molester, they decide to “go back for one more time to tweak some things.” “Life is about do-overs,” one of them says. “I want my dick back,” says Lou. They arrive with Lou intact (“My dick!”) wondering, “How far back did we go?” They look at the date: March 26, 2025 (“[Expletive deleted], we went ten years into the future.”) The hot tub repair­man (Chevy Chase) advises them the time machine takes them where they need to go, not where they want to go. They figure they are in a “Terminator” type plot where they need to find the assailant before he travels back in time to assault Lou. So it's a loop.

They meet Adam Yates, Jr. (Adam Scott)—the son of John Cusack's character Adam from the first movie—and Adam's insepa­rable fiancée Jill (Gillian Jacobs). For a bachelor party they take him to a virtual reality show called Choozy Doozy Celebrity in which Adam participates. Jill stays home to have her hair done and watch her favorite show. That gives her a bad hair day which in turn influences the past they came here to change.


This movie is very Freudian, penis jokes abound. After their immediate problem is fixed, they go for higher stakes (“We gotta make America happen”) and introduce the race card resulting in a portrait that includes a black founding father signing the Declaration of Independence. Let's unpack the loops.

Since the movie was released during Black History Month, let's look at blacks in (biblical) history. Taking a look at origins, (Gen. 6:10) “And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” These three fathered the whole human race alive today. From Shem, for instance, came White Europeans (and others). Ham's descendants settled largely in Africa becoming the black races. Researcher Mark DeWayne Combs posits that, “Although Jasher specific­ally references the births of Japheth and Shem, there is no such reference to the birth of Ham. … that Ham may have been much younger than his brothers and that he may have had a different mother” (389). (See my review of “Project Almanac” for a fuller explanation.) In “Time Machine 2” there's a Freudian slip of a trip to “Wright Brothers from another mother.” A “brother from another mother” being a way Whites some­times refer to blacks, it has its roots in Ham. Combs also observes, “Fathering a child, particularly a son, through a hand­maiden or servant girl would not have been an uncommon or forbidden practice in that time period” (165). (I've discussed this possibility in my review of “Project Almanac.”)

Researcher Bodie Hodge confirms that “As a general trend, Ham is the father of many peoples in Africa” (122). Dr. Ide adds, “Ham sired four sons: Cush (translates as ‘black’) … and Canaan the youngest” (62). Names get passed down through the generations, and Cush being Hebrew for ‘black’ eventually becomes, (Acts 13:1) “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as … Simeon that was called Niger, … .” Niger is Latin for ‘black’, eventually becoming nègre French for ‘black’ and Negro Spanish for ‘black’ (and similar words in Italian and Portuguese.) There are various ‘n’ words in English, or just plain black. As a matter of political cor­rectness the (PC) term of choice here in the USA is African-American being a moniker that doesn't go back as far as Cush, Ham, or his servant mother.

In “Time Machine 2” there's a Freudian slip of “this stinking ship” and then there's Lou's garishly appointed mansion whose decoration scheme includes a mounted fowl next to a bird gun. Noah's (stinking) ark finally landed, dry land being confirmed by the flight of a dove. Then we have (Gen. 9:20-22) that Ham was tending his father Noah within his tent, sort of like a butler, and in the movie Lou's son Jacob is indeed Lou's butler, and much screen time is devoted to Jacob's derived limited status from being one. It puts one in mind of domestics during America's slave days, as described by Prof. Kenneth Stampp: (337–8)

Most domestics were proud of their positions of responsibility, of their fine manners and correct speech, and of their hand­some clothing and other badges of distinction. They were important figures in their little world.

Indeed, the domestic … constituted the aristocracy of slave society. “I considered my station a very high one,” confessed an ex-slave who had been his master's body servant. Many visitors to the South commented on how the domestics flaunted their superiority over “the less favored helots of the plough.”

In “Hot Tub 2” the helots of the road in 2025 are the smart cars who are sentient beings, with feelings—to the extent of road rage—and a spirituality, recording a person's last words before he meets his untimely end. And they deserve respect—you better not cross one—yet with this equality to humans, they act as their slaves. Thus this movie deals with slavery in a safe form—who's to object to a machine being a slave not­with­standing notions of equality? And the cars seem happy (unless they're mad.)

The Choozy Doozy show that sets the tone for both past and future (including the founding of America) involves some male nakedness (“This is getting a little dark”) and virtual sodomy on a televised program corresponding in our (real) past to, (Gen. 9:20-23) “And Noah began to be an husband­man, and he planted a vine­yard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the naked­ness of his father, and told his two brethren with­out. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went back­ward, and covered the naked­ness of their father; and their faces were back­ward, and they saw not their father's naked­ness.” Noah was drunk on wine, and Adam Jr. was high on a psycho­tropic drug. The incident was broadcast to every­one; in Noah's day there were only a few people around. And through a confluence of the principles of (Lev. 20:11) “And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness,” and (Lev. 20:13) “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination,” the assailant went back to 2015 to even the score of an offending prick, and Noah cursed the offspring (Canaan) of Ham, (Gen. 9:24-27) “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”

Said curse used to be pretty well understood: Writer Bodie Hodge (134) quotes “Bible Questions and Answers,” The Golden Age (July 24, 1929): p. 702.

Question: Is there anything in the Bible that reveals the origin of the Negro?

Answer: It is generally believed that the curse which Noah pronounced upon Canaan was the origin of the Black race. Certain it is that when Noah said, “Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren,” he pictured the future of the Colored race.

And it used to be that Negroes knew their places, or felt they had a particular place, but now that they are granted legal equality, many still feel they're relegated to a position of servitude. Well, those smart cars, nobody owns them, but they're still servants. This movie shows a dark celebrity show incident that influences in widening circles all of history, so helping us to under­stand our own predicament.

Production Values

“Hot Tub Time Machine 2” (2015) was directed by Steve Pink. It was written by Josh Heald. It stars Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke. The actors Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, and Adam Scott made a brilliant comedic team. There were cameos of an unbilled Christian Slater (playing a sadistic game show host) and singer Lisa Loeb. Chevy Chase makes a brief appearance. John Cusack from the first movie stated he was never approached or asked to appear in this movie, probably as a matter of budget.

MPAA rated it R for crude sexual content and language throughout, graphic nudity, drug use and some violence. It borrows some­what from the “Terminator” films and from “Back to the Future part 2” but it's its own story. The ribbons are tied up on time travel in scenes running through the end credits. In the mirror in the year 2025, Nick looks older, Lou has gone gray, and Jacob is completely bald.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This one is a rollicking good time, characters we care about, a time loop we could care less about, and gross-out jokes that are barely toler­able only because they reflect on dark material from the Bible. It's a pretty satisfying experience, but I would keep the children away from it.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Absolutely amazing special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall product rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Combs, Mark DeWayne. End the Beginning. USA: Splinter in the Mind's Eye Pub., 2014. Print.

Hodge, Bodie. Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Pub., 2013. Print.

Ide, Arthur Frederick. Noah & the Ark: The Influence of Sex, Homo­phobia and Hetero­sexism in the Flood Story and its Writing. Las Colinas: Monument Press, 1992. Print.

Stampp, Kenneth M., Professor of American History at the University of California (Berkeley).
   The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South. Vintage Books, 1955. Print.