Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

 

Directed by Steve Pink
Written by Josh Heald and Sean Anders & John Morris

This really surprised me. I was not expecting much going in, just hoping to have a laugh or two here and there and I ended up laughing quite a bit. If the plot, and the title, seem absurd, it’s because they are. It’s exactly what it sounds like, three “friends” and one of their low-life nephews go out for a weekend of male bonding, get into a hot tub and travel back to 1986. They are advised by their time travel “repairman”, Chevy Chase, to not change anything that happened before. Hilarity and insanity ensues.

The plot had its holes and things that didn’t work, just as there were a handful of jokes and gags that didn’t work. But for the most part the story was interesting and entertaining and the jokes and gags generally were quite funny and worked. The players involved (John Cusack, Rob Corddry, and Craig Robinson) are pretty good. Corddry flies highest with his over the top performance which is great. Cusack delivers his typical solid showing. And Robinson is also his usual self. I was not left completely satisfied with the ending as the filmmakers would have wanted me to be (I took exception with how they wrapped things up), but all in all a nice pleasant surprise. The characters worked, the comedy worked, and it wasn’t destroyed by its off the wall storyline.

Also, just let me tell you that the way they portray the 80s is awesome. I generally don’t like the 80s, though I didn’t live through it, so what do I really know, but the way they make fun of it here is both funny and even nostalgic I can imagine. The music, the fashion, the social references. And just let me throw this out there: the film is set at a ski resort, and the two guys that played the ski patrol are spot on d-bags as can be expected.

**1/2 – Average

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