Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

When you go see a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine you know you are not going to be seeing anything intellectual. You expect to see a silly film with hopefully a lot of laughs, and that is exactly what Hot Tub Time Machine provides you with. It never pretends to be something it’s not. Since I was fully prepared for ninety minutes of pure silliness, I found I rather enjoyed it.

There are no bad performances in the film, but the stand-out performance is from Rob Corddry as the suicidal and manic Lou. He is bitter and outrageous and his destructive tendencies tend to make it difficult for his friends to be around him. Rob Corddry plays Lou with a lot of energy and jumpiness, which makes the character seem even more unstable and unpredictable.

It was also nice to see John Cusack in a comedy that’s actually funny for once. His last few attempts at comedy, including the terrible Must Love Dogs were lacking in any humour.

The film revolves around four dysfuntional men. Three of these guys: Adam (Cusack), Lou, and Nick (Craig Robinson), were best mates in high school but have lost touch over the years, largely because they stopped liking each other. The fourth in the group is the teenage nephew of Adam, and is a geek who likes to spend all his time playing computer games, rather than doing anything remotely sociable. These four are brought together when Lou attempts to commit suicide and since he has no interested relatives, his old friends are called upon to help raise his spirits.

In order to cheer Lou up, they take him to a ski resort they used to go to in the 80s. When they arrive at the resort though, they find it is no longer the desirable place it used to be. The only upside to the place is that their room has a working hot tub. They surround the tub with copious amounts of alcohol, jump in, and start partying. Somehow, during the course of their partying, the hut tub takes them back in time and when they wake up the next day they realise they are back in the 1980s.

It is never made very clear what caused this time travel, but since it’s not a film that you are meant to take very seriously, you shouldn’t really care about this, and if you do, RELAX.

Crispin Glover’s role as the one armed bell boy provides the best laughs in the film. When the film goes back in time he is in possession of both of his arms, and the director plays with the viewer’s morbid curiousity as we hope to discover how he loses his arm. You know he’s going to lose the arm during the course of the film, but you have no idea how. There are numerous close shaves before the arm eventually comes off, and these near misses create the only real suspense in the film.

Overall I enjoyed Hot Tub Time Machine. It kept me engaged and I didn’t find the time dragged at all. My only problem with the film was that I felt it could have been funnier. Although the jokes are flowing throughout, there are no real laugh-out-loud moments. It consistently makes you chuckle, but nothing more substantial. There were no surprises, and except for its ridiculous title, there is nothing very memorable about it.

Dir: Steve Pink

Starring: John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke

rating: 5

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