Three middle-aged man-children, one twenty-something gamer, and a hot tub; what could go wrong?
John Cusack stars as Adam, an unhappy with a mediocre life who is tired of his videogame obsessed nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) living in his basement. Adam’s best friends Nick and Lou (Craig Robinson and Rob Corddry) are equally miserable.
The gang decides to recapture their youth by visiting their favorite ski resort from college. But now, the resort is run-down and deserted. They decide to make the best of a bad situation by getting drunk and relaxing in the hot tub. When a squirrel knocks over Lou’s energy drink on the control panel and everyone is transported back to 1986 they get more nostalgia then they bargained for.
Can Adam, Nick, and Lou fix the mistakes they made in the past to create a better future? Or will their meddling in the space-time continuum cause Jacob, who didn’t exist in 1986, to not exist at all?
The film has a couple good things going for it. First of all, the title. “Hot Tub Time Machine” is perhaps the greatest name for a movie I’ve ever heard. The absurdity and ridiculousness of it grabs your attention and tells you everything you need to know about it. In an online interview at Traileraddict.com Cusack admitted that he signed on to the movie almost entirely based on the title alone.
And lastly, Craig Robinson. The line, “It’s a hot tub time machine,” by itself is not very funny. But give it to Robinson and his deadpan delivery while staring directly into camera; it’s hilarious. Plus he performs covers of Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” and Black Eyed Peas’ “Lets Get it Started.”
“Hot Tub Time Machine” is a lot of fun, but it has some problems too. As much as I love to laugh at the 80’s, the script relies a little too much on the sight gag of leg warmers and jerry curls instead of actual jokes about them.
Much of the film is too slap-sticky and I was left wondering if I was laughing with the movie or at it. Either way, I still enjoyed myself.
- Hot Tub Time Machine: the 80s regurgitated (guardian.co.uk)
- DVD Review: Hot Tub Time Machine (blogcritics.org)
- S#!* John Cusack Says (kylesmithonline.com)