Hot Tub Time Machine

In Movie Reviews on June 30, 2010 at 7:11 am

Fueled by energy drinks, vodka and nostalgia for their younger, wilder days, a group of aging best friends travels back in time to 1987, where they get the chance to relive the best year of their lives. And their time machine? Well, it’s a hot tub. John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Crispin Glover and Sebastian Stan co-star in this out-of-the-box comedy that takes time travel to a whole new level.

This movie suffers from one of the worst mistakes a movie can make: not knowing what it wants to be. In this case, is the movie a witty comedy about the yearnings for ones youth? Or is a morality tale about accepting what you have in life? Or perhaps it is a reflection on how the friends of our youth do not fit into our adult lives? Or is it all of the above? Or none of the above?

See the problem?

The concept of going back in time has been done over and over again (the best of which is of course Back To The Future) and no new ground is covered here. The cast, led by one of my personal favorites John Cusak, does a good job with what they have to work with, but it not much of a starting point. One of the biggest problems with the movie is that the gags and jokes in it require you to have a pretty deep knowledge of the 80s to even get them. I grew up in that era and even I had a hard time grasping some of the humor they were going for.

Also, there are far to many uncomfortable moments in this movie to make it funny. Scenes like Cusak getting high (a BIG killer for me in any movie). Craig Robinson’s character calling the 9 year old version of his future wife and screaming at her, and Rob Corrdry’s banging of Cusak’s sister as Cusak stands outside the door and listens all put the movie on an incredibly dark level.

Even at the end, where you think that maybe the characters will have some type of redemptive break through on changes to make to their life, you are left disappointed.

2.5 out of 5 stars, not one I would rush out to see, but it is passable if you have nothing left in your Netflix queue.

  1. I felt much the same as you, though there were some moments I thought were really good.

  2. Thanks for the review, Pat. This is one of the few new released I’m actually looking forward to seeing. 🙂

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