Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
Review by A.P. Fuchs
4.5 out of 5
Four friends, all failures. Adam’s (John Cusack) wife just left him. His nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke), is a stay-in-the-basement nerd. Nick (Craig Robinson) works at a pet spa and Lou (Rob Corddry) is suicidal.
And it’s Lou that gets them into trouble because when a suicide attempt lands him in the hospital, the four friends decide to return to a small town, the glory place of their youth, and try and cheer him up.
Greeted by a bellhop named Phil (Crispin Glover), who lost his arm long ago, the four friends try and party like they used to in a town that is no longer the cool place they remember.
After one drunken night in the hot tub, they suddenly find themselves back in 1986, and what’s even weirder is they also look like their younger selves. (Though onscreen we see their present-day selves but in mirrors it’s their younger versions and that’s what everybody else sees. Nice touch on a time travel story.) Once coming to grips of their predicament and while trying to figure out a way “back to the future,” they vow to maintain the space-time continuum and repeat what they did back in 1986 so as to not accidentally execute the butterfly effect and destroy the timeline. They swear to do things as they did it and how they did it back in 1986. Except little do they realize it’s much easier said than done because no one wants to go through that horrific break up all over again (great white buffalo), or get their face bashed in, or sleep with a hot blonde though you’re married to someone else in the future. (Actually, this last scene was done quite well.)
Guided by the aloof and cryptic hot tub repairman (Chevy Chase), these four misfits either accept the misfortunes of their past or, if they’re daring enough, try and right what went wrong in the past in the hopes for a better future.
Being a time travel nut, I had to see this movie. I went opening night. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.
This flick was an ode to time travel movies, especially Back to the Future (and having Crispin Glover in it, who played George McFly in BttF only added to it). The 80s fashions, gadgets, phrases, music all amounted to a true trip through time and really convinced you that you were along for this crazy ride via hot tub time travel.
This movie is so tongue-in-cheek yet at the same time wasn’t just stupid slapstick comedy, but instead opted to take itself seriously enough to sell you on the concept.
Now, I’m not sure if you’re like me or not, but I really appreciate buddy-buddy humor–you know, the teasing, the kicks between the legs, the sarcasm–and the time-traveling quartet were just loaded with it, so much so you wished you were a part of their little group. And, really, the way the tale was presented in this flick, yeah, you were.
So many jokes, so much sarcasm, so much fun. This movie was just amazing and I’m counting the days till I can grab the Blu-ray for my collection and watch it over and over.
My only gripe was the coarse language. A handful of times in a movie–though, for me, a bit jarring–I can live with, but when it’s every second word then it becomes too much and it pulls you out of the flick during those little blurts of profanity.
Now I just need a hot tub time machine of my own to go back in time and check this flick out in the theatre again without having to spend the $10.25 (Canadian) all over for it.