Three friends on losing streaks: Adam, whose girlfriend dumped him, Nick, with a dead-end job and a cheating wife, and Lou, a suicidal alcoholic. To help Lou recover from car-exhaust poisoning, Adam and Nick, with Adam's nephew Jacob, go to a winter resort that was their old party place. It's now a dump, but the lads rally for a night of drinking in the hot tub. Somehow, the hot tub takes them back to 1986, on a fateful night for each of them. Maybe if they do everything the same way they did that night, they'll get back to the future so Jacob can be born. There are serious temptations to do things differently. Will they make it back to their sorry lives? And what about Jacob? Written by
The 1980's, it would seem, is back with a bang. Modern music is filled with synthesised melodies and dodgy outfits, fashion brought back leg- warmers (albeit briefly), big sunglasses, and tight jeans, and films have recently been taking a sentimental look back at a time when teen comedies, gory horrors and oiled-up muscle men action films ruled the roost. Yet it is a decade looked back at with as much disdain as it is warmth, pointed out by John Cusack's character Adam in Hot Tub Time Machine, as although he recognises it as the best time of his life, he states that "we had Reagan and AIDS," and exclaims "I f****n' hated this decade!".
It seems almost pointless to draw out the plot given the film's to-the- point title, but it tells the story of three friends, Adam, who has just seen his girlfriend leave him, Lou (Rob Corddry), an alcoholic who is in hospital after an accidental suicide attempt, and Nick (Craig Robinson), who has generally harbouring the knowledge that his wife has cheated, and is busy pulling car keys out of dog's arses for his job. Returning to their favourite place as teenagers, the Kodiac Valley Ski Resort, with Adam's nerd nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), they find the place desolate and far from the place they remember. After a wild night of drinking in the hot tub, they wake up to find themselves transported back to the 1980's and realise they have the chance to remedy the pains from the past, as well as party like they did years ago.
In a world that releases gross-out comedies by the barrel, Hot Tub Time Machine manages to include both the sweetness of the Judd Apatow comedies of late, as well as the misogynist, bad taste teen comedies of the 1980's that saw a revival in the early 2000's thanks to American Pie (1999). Although the film wasn't quite as funny as I was hoping it to be, it does make up for this by having several appallingly distasteful, yet very funny, set-pieces, including one that sees one the group having to face performing fellatio on his friend. We would like to think that we have moved on from the homophobic, racist and sexist humour of the 80's and that we have developed a more politically correct outlook on life, but we haven't really - it's still very funny (when done right).
Chocked full of references and homages to everything 80's, this will obviously appeal more to people growing up in the era. Although my pubescent days were spent in the 90's, I still grew up around the movies, which were then still relatively modern, so I did feel a slight tinge of nostalgia (genre legends Chevy Chase - looking old as f**k - and the ever-entertaining Crispin Glover make appearances here). The movie is slightly held back by some predictable plotting, a plot twist you can see a mile away, and some gags that fail to hit the mark, but the film is well aware of its ridiculousness, embracing it's silly plot and thankfully not dwelling on the details. This is simply an excuse to have some 80's fun, and fun it certainly is.
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