Some movies come at just the right time and gain huge popularity despite their mediocrity. Hot Tub Time Machine is a mediocre science fiction comedy laced with that sweet, sweet eighties nostalgia. We will be following a couple of middle-aged friends trying to recapture their glory days when they time travel back to the eighties. The title of this movie implies that it’s not going to take itself seriously nor it shouldn’t. It leans into this whole stupid mainstream comedy for men having a midlife crisis and trying to get away with it.
It’s vastly inferior to last year’s hit The Hangover, especially if you’re going to get all cynical about it. And I’ll try not to. Hot Tub Time Machine is one of those comedies that requires you to turn off your brain before watching it. You just need to go along with it and not bother yourself with explanations or jokes that didn’t land. Or the lame excuse that if you think this movie is lame then you’re lame because they were already aware it’s going to be lame and were going for it. The characters are bland, simplistic, and one-dimensional, okay, okay, I’ll stop now.
As I said, you simply cannot apply classic movie logic to this movie. It’s a product intended for one-time use only. Okay, if you’re really drunk or high, perhaps you can watch it again. Oddly enough, I really liked Steve Pink’s first movie Accepted, a raunchy high-school comedy. On that note, the movie did have me laughing out loud a couple of times. It’s pacey and entertaining and it opens with a suicide attempt, which is always fun. So, there’s even a healthy dose of reality in this rather loose science fiction comedy.
Adam, Nick, and Lou are three friends who life constantly fucks. Nothing seems to be working out for them. So, after one of them attempts to take his life they decide to shake things up. They decide to go to the place they loved when they were younger, Kodiak Valley Ski Resort. This single decision will change their lives completely. They will soon find themselves in the middle of the eighties and they’ll take advantage of this situation fully. The only problem is that they don’t know how to get back to the present. Although they might now want to come back.
As a guy who greatly appreciates toilet humor and all gags involving bodily fluids and solids, Hot Tub Time Machine did not disappoint. The cast was solid and the production values were good. The whole thing reminds me of Wild Hogs, another male-bonding movie. And a movie they even reference in this one. What they don’t reference are the series of raunchy teen comedies from the eighties and nineties featuring skiing. I’m talking about movies like Ski School, Ski Patrol, Hot Dog …The Movie, and Aspen Extreme. Out Cold also belongs to this weird subgenre although it came out in 2001.
So, if you’re hungry for more movies like Hot Tub Time Machine, you can check them out. They’re just as dumb and feature an actual eighties vibes. Although since one of the writers is Sean Anders you might want to take a look at Sex Drive.
Director: Steve Pink
Writers: Josh Heald, Sean Anders, John Morris
Cast: John Cusack, Clark Duke, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Sebastian Stan, Lyndsy Fonseca
Fun Fact: The nude hot tub scene featuring Craig Robinson was Jessica Paré was actually her idea. Moreover, Jessica felt it was really funny and enjoyed making it.