Opening 30 Sep 2010
It’s not often that a whole film review is summed up in the title, but Hot Tub Time Machine pretty much covers the whole gist of this coarse and entertaining comedy. Middle-aged party guy Lou (Rob Corddry) accidentally inhales enough carbon monoxide to peg him as a suicide risk to hospital doctors, and erstwhile buddies Nick (Craig Robinson) and Adam (John Cusack) are called in to save their former best friend from future attempts. The remedy for loneliness? A trip to getaway ski resort Kodiak Valley to celebrate the good old days with Adam’s nineteen-year-old techie nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) in tow. The foursome realize their not-so-successful present-day life situations are nothing like the glory days of yore, so voila: booze bash leads to a hot tub malfunction and they head back in time to 1986. Raunchy and crass, the antics of living out their rekindled youth soon wears thin and the quartet must find a way to retrace a specific sequence of events of Winterfest 1986 in order to return to 2009.
Anyone older than 35 should get a kick out of the hairstyles and costumes (turtlenecks!) as the plot unfolds to some great music of the times. There are some hilarious scenes starring Crispin Glover (think McFly of Back to the Future) as the one-armed bellhop, and some mediocre appearances from Chevy Chase as the hot tub repairman. Don’t go to this film expecting sly wit, intelligent humor and a glass of wine: Hot Tub Time Machine is best enjoyed with a giant bucket of salted popcorn between you and your other middle-aged pals, a beer and a decent amount of appreciation for four-star bawdiness. (Kirstan Böttger)