“Hot Tub Time Machine” (HTTM) and John Cusack in the same sentence, surely some mistake or some forgotten DTV title from the 1980’s. No, this is 2010 and in your cinemas now, well six months ago, this being the DVD release.
Three loser buddies get together to shoot the breeze and ideally prevent one of the group Lou (Corddry) from sucking on an exhaust pipe to end his misery, not your everyday comedy then.
Deciding to get away from it all they decide upon a return to a previous well remembered and raucous ski resort holiday (K-Valley) and rope in their techno nerd nephew Jacob. The kind of person who never likes to be more than 400 metres away from a broadband connection.
Deciding that four naked men in a hot tub is the way to go, things start to get a bit weird when the whole group are transported back to 1985. The reason is irrelevant as this is a high concept comedy after all, so 1985 in every way.
What follows is a curious mixture of gross out gags, great one liners and a generous helping of what might have been a la Back to the Future (BTTF).
Watching, it is difficult to understand how this is working but it does seem to gel together rather well. Cusack as usual manages to bring presence and glue the whole thing together. Corrdy is fun and Weber (Robinson) exercises his comic timing to good effect. Clark Duke as Jacob, a necessary character to point out how ridiculous and more importantly “old” the others really are, whilst neatly linking to the “yoof” audience.
Talking of ridiculous, did 1985 really look that bad, most of the target audience may not have been born then, so will accept what they are told – this may not be a good thing.
This is a fun movie to watch with a beer in your hand and will go down well with most crowds, it is a bit rude and with plenty of swearing is not one to watch with the local vicar.
The cast are clearly enjoying themselves, Cusack is probably just happy nothing is blowing up and he is back to acting with real people, rather than the special effects green screen of “2012”.
Relationships and fights will have to be repeated if the “space time continuum” is not be altered (BTTF). The boys decide if they change anything they did before, they may not exist in the future, although as can be seen this may work to your advantage if you know what you are doing.
The girls don’t get much of a look in but do what they can with the limited scenes they are given, the running joke with the one armed man is also fun. There is a hint of lives lived without direction and regaining what you set out to achieve when you were still young and idealistic. However, when your movie is called HTTM, it’s never going to be Dostoevsky.
The plot is deliberately silly and no one is going to mistake this for Art.
A cut above what the title would suggest but overall “Hot Tub Time Machine” pretty much summarizes the film quite neatly, it does what is says on the tin