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Maybe I liked this movie because I had such subterranean expectations
for it. From the previews, and, indeed, just the title, I was certain
it was going to be stupid rather than funny.
But I went out to dinner with my friends Saturday night, and after dinner, to my chagrin, everybody had a reason to bail on the evening, and I found myself alone, at 9pm, with nothing to do, and not wanting to go home. So I went to the theater to play movie roulette. Hot Tub Time Machine was playing almost immediately, and the next movie after that wouldn't be for another 45 minutes. I *almost* turned around and went home, so sure was I that this film was going to be stupid rather than funny. But I figured, what the heck, I'm here...
Well, the movie *is* stupid. But it's funny too. And what's more, it knows it's stupid and makes no bones about it. At no time does it ever take itself seriously. Now, I could have done without some of the extremely gross bits. Happily there aren't *too* many of them. And I'm sure I didn't get all the 80's references; although I did live through the period, I largely avoided popular culture at that time, and still couldn't tell you most of the bands or big hit songs of the time (or of today, for that matter).
But I have to confess, the movie did make me laugh. Not all throughout, but I did have a number of genuine, laugh-out-loud moments. And plenty of chuckles and smiles. And I found myself genuinely liking the characters, and finding them to have a bit more depth than I expected from a film entitled "Hot Tub Time Machine". And the basic theme of the loss of the zany, free-form fun of youth, and regret of the relative staid blandness of "adult" life, is a theme which resonated with me.
Now, let's get real. This is no "Citizen Cane", "Vertigo", or "The Godfather". Nor is a timeless comedy masterpiece like "Airplane", "Blazing Saddles", or "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". Someone here displayed gross unfairness in trying to compare it to a classic '30's comedy, but obviously this is not "It Happened One Night", "Bringing Up Baby", or "Duck Soup", and if you go to the theater expecting it to be, the fault lies with you. What it is is a silly, fun, enjoyable way to pass a couple hours. Not deep, not profound, not brilliant. Not timeless, not enduring.
But not bad. And not nearly as stupid as it looked like it was going to be. And these days, that's not too bad.
I went to a screening of this film and didn't expect very much out of it. However, this is probably one of the funniest movies I've seen in a while. I laughed almost the entire length of the movie, which is something that hasn't happened in a long time. The movie is extremely well-written. John Cusack really carries the movie with a great performance. Chevy Chase really doesn't do much of anything. Comedy was sort of in the vein of "The 40 Year Old Virgin." The film doesn't take itself seriously at all, which is part of the fun. It doesn't really get bogged down too much in the science of time travel, and focuses mostly on these four guys trying to get the hell out of 1986. A great watch. Very entertaining. Highly recommended.
Although as a warning this movie had some pretty intense language, and very crude humor I enjoyed it so much. The actual plot of this movie as depicted on the trailer is in no way realistic at all which adds to it's humor. Isn't that what we go to the movies for? A little escape of reality for a while? This movie from first moment to last is hilarious in every way and the jokes keep rolling. This movie is like all of the greater 80's movies piled into one with a mix of Back to the Future. Every character in this movie had a significant number of hilarious jokes, and the entire audience was laughing hysterically. In my opinion this was better than The Hangover because every 2 minutes I found myself laughing harder and harder at every joke. Great movie.
First off, let me say that I did rather enjoy this film.
Yes, it is a rather (read: VERY) far-fetched premise. And yes, it does have some massive plot holes mainly because it completely disregards the space-time continuum. But this film is not designed to have you focus on these things. It is only after viewing that you realise just how stupid the whole thing is and where all the problems with time-lines etc, etc lie. Yet, I still found myself wanting to see it again.
The main characters play their parts very well. All the actors must have known exactly what they were getting themselves into and they are all willing participants. I did especially enjoy Rob Corddry's part as a washed up, dead end, dead beat alcoholic. His character was the fulcrum for the majority of the humour, both situational and verbal. Craig Robinson bought the light-hearted humour, as well as some of the best punch lines of the film. John Cusack played the 'serious' dramatic/comedic role and Clark Duke has his moments while helping to aim the whole package toward a younger demographic. Even the secondary characters have their moments of comedy glory.
There are genuine laugh out loud moments spread pretty evenly throughout which are based on plot and character, not just gross-out humour. And although gross-out humour is present it sits well because the film doesn't rely on it alone to deliver the laughs.
Another thing I found very entertaining about this movie was that as the characters travelled back to the 80's it was almost as if the humour did too. I don't mean to say that things descended into a 'Porkie's Revisited' or anything like that, but there were definite elements of the 80's present in the way the humour and characters come across. Think back to scenes you remember off the top of your head from Back To The Future, Caddy Shack, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, hell - even Breakfast Club. Hot Tub Time Machine just seemed to capture some of that and revive it for today's audiences.
I would recommend HTTM to anyone with a sense of humour not wanting to think too deeply and wanting to be entertained for 90 minutes.
Like I said at the top of this review... There are plot holes. There is no recognition of the space-time continuum - actually, the future repercussions of the character's actions would have never worked out like they do. And, really, at no point does the film actually make sense.
BUT... I was still entertained. I still laughed. I still wanted to see where the characters went. I still find myself remembering lines from the film and smiling. And, even after all I've just written, I'd still watch it again.
Can't say more than that now, can I?
Hell, it certainly kept me damn entertained. In this day and age it takes real comedy chops to pull off poo and vomit gags with such expert timing. The film embraces the absurdity of time travel and doesn't focus too much on the whys. All four of the male leads are brilliant, especially Corddry, who pulls off one of the great movie arseholes, without completely detaching himself from the audience. There are some classic lines, mostly coming from insults, and the film doesn't rely too much on date humour (just a few references to e-mail etc.) It cleverly spits in the face of the butterfly effect and relishes its characters manipulation of time, whilst showing that some things can't be avoided. A very entertaining comedy.
While the world was still recovering from the over-hyped Todd Phillips
movie a smaller, quieter, but funnier movie slipped into cinemas and
made a little splash. Both feature groups of troubled men looking for a
good time, but Hot Tub Time Machine is just madder and more inventive.
Three losers and a tagging-along nephew book into a ski lodge hoping to relive their youthful experiences. But when the lodge turns out to be a dilapidated wreck they resort to just getting wasted in the hot tub. Said device sends them back in time when the circuits are fried by one of those awful energy drinks.
Arriving in 1986 (a year that presents us with several plot holes an anachronisms) they seize the opportunity to fix things for a better future (despite being warned not to) while Chevy Chase pops in and out as the hotel handyman who may or may not know the secret to time travel.
It's very silly, very irreverent stuff, but it works. There's almost a sort of magical, otherworldly feel to the hotel and Chevy Chase's character, I wish it was taken a little bit further (maybe in the sequel), and lampooning of 80s culture is spot-on, even if it's hardly the first movie to do so.
You won't stop smiling for the entire duration. Brainless or not, isn't that exactly what you want from a comedy?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I first heard about this movie, I didn't think it was something I
would pay to see in the theater. It just looked took much like a frat
pack flick for my personal taste. However, I had a chance to see a free
sneak preview of it and was more than pleasantly surprised.
"Hot Tub Time Machine" is the story of three longtime friends - Adam (John Cusack), Lou (Rob Corddry), and Nick (Craig Robinson) - and Adam's 20-something nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke), who revisit the ski resort playland of the three older guys' young adulthood. With the help of a hot tub outside of their room and a little movie magic, the four are transported back to Winterfest '86, an event that Adam, Lou, and Nick attended at the resort back in the day. They believe they have to do the exact same things they did during that fateful weekend 24 years before to have a chance at getting back to 2010. Some things obviously change, even when the characters are trying to keep them the same. These make for some hilarious story arcs for the three older guys and more than a few awkward moments for young Jacob.
I think most adults will find this movie funny, but it was made especially for Gen-Xers and others who remember the '80s well. If you are a fan of movies such as "Back to the Future," (one of my personal favorites) "Better Off Dead," "Red Dawn," or "Sixteen Candles," you will get a kick out of the homage that this movie pays to those films. And it's a must-see for John Cusack fans, who produced this movie and obviously has a sense of humor about the early roles that made him a star.
Granted, "Hot Tub Time Machine" isn't perfect. There are a few obvious errors about people's ages and about the state of pop culture in the mid-80s (at least as I remember it). There's also some gratuitous drug use and female nudity. But these are minor criticisms about an otherwise very funny film that almost anyone between the ages of 30 and 50 is bound to appreciate.
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
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.
"Hot Tub Time Machine" is actually quite enjoyable. The ridiculous
title and its obvious concept turned me off at first but it turned out
to be a lot of fun.
As a fan of John Cusack, it was pleasing to see his character, Adam, reminiscent of Rob from "High Fidelity" (2000), especially when his girlfriend moved out on him at the very beginning. "She basically called me an asshole, like I'm a narcissistic asshole." His friend replies, "Yeah, she has a point though." The movie does spend a significant amount of time with the guys being assholes and calling each other assholes, but it is probably the best guys-acting-as-assholes movie.
Three middle-aged men are despondent with the sad state of their lives, Rob Corddry being the worst of the bunch, is in the hospital with another not-suicide attempt (beause if he really wanted to, he would kick ass at killing himself), and Cusack and Craig Robinson are called in as the only people who could be described as his friends. Believe it or not, but the movie's opening with all this unhappiness is quite funny and real at the same time. To cheer themselves up, they are off to a ski resort where they used to hang out in the 80s. I think we all know why it's called "Hot Tub Time Machine".
As ridiculous and inane as this all sounds, there is a lot of clever humour in the movie, and the characters, as much as they are assholes, they are also real and genuine. I know them and that just makes them all the more fun. I was annoyed with the inclusion of Jacob (Clark Duke) as Cusack's nephew because I think one Jonah Hill is enough.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
More so than with any other genre, I confess to being somewhat of a
comedy snob. It's not that I have particularly highbrow taste, there's
simply a very thin line separating what I find enjoyable and what I
find intolerable. I will tell you that "Hot Tub Time Machine" falls
squarely into the latter category, and to be honest, it's not even
close to the line.
Take a look at the title with me. I realize "Hot Tub Time Machine" has no delusions of grandeur. It's not about weaving a complex story, it's not about great performances, and it's not about smart direction. It exists for the sole purpose of making me laughand that's its crippling failure. The film is so absolutely flimsy that when a joke misses the mark, everything collapses. You're not looking at a beautiful image, you're not engrossed in the story, and if you're not even laughing, then there's truly nothing to behold.
Personally, I'm more inclined to laugh at situations and characters I understand and am invested in. While Mike Judge's "Extract" wasn't a great film, the director and his cast created three-dimensional performances, and I was content to watch them work even when they weren't making me LOL. "Hot Tub," on the other hand, defines its characters with a single cliché: narcissist, asshole, married guy, weirdo (Jeez, that sounds familiar)and spends all of fifteen minutes in introduction before chucking them into a car together and asking the audience to take for granted that they were once best friends. Their performances are bereft of this assumed comraderie, and they spend most of the body of the film with one or fewer of their three supposed amigos.
Here's the thing. Character is the foundation of even adequate cinema, and not only does "Hot Tub" forgo the character anglewhich would be fine if the comedy compensatedbut the inane dialogue they let dribble from their mouths blends tired, lazy college humor with lame eighties retrospective. To give you an idea of the intellectual level that the film and its pull-string characters operate on, at one point Nick (Craig Robinson), suspicious that he has been transported back in time, asks a stranger, "What color is Michael Jackson?"
I'll let that one simmer. Not only is the gag unfunny, but it's so stupid a thing to say that hearing it is outright frustrating. The joke is for the benefit of the 21st century audience rather than the internal logic of the film, and "Hot Tub Time Machine" is pathetic in its universal preference for cheap laughs over creative integrity. Even ideas that should be amusing either aren't or lack polish and execution. There is a somewhat successful running gag involving a future one-armed bellhop (Crispin Glover) presented with an escalating series of arm-threatening situations in the pastthough with a completely unfulfilling pay- off. That and a laundry list of other scenarios might have worked had "Hot Tub" had even a germ of originality.
I don't mean to offend with my comedic snobbery, but plainly, "Hot Tub Time Machine" is the sort of film I can't abide. As one who's attempted to write comedy before, watching the director pander (successfully) to the lowest common denominator while liberally pilfering from better work is an enormously frustrating experience. The screenplay is asinine and a blatant cash-in on the inexplicable wave of popularity a certain film by Todd Phillips generated last year. And yet I must concede, "Hot Tub Time Machine" is even a step removed from that. It's a pale imitation of a white turd.
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