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Movie Review: Hot Tub Time Machine

March 26, 2010

Hot Tub Time Machine – An MGM Pictures’ Release

Release Date: March 26th

Rated 18A for coarse language, sexual content, and substance abuse

Running time: 98 minutes

Steve Pink (dir.)

Josh Heald (screenplay & story)

Sean Anders (screenplay)

John Morris (screenplay)

Christophe Beck (music)

John Cusack as Adam

Clark Duke as Jacob

Craig Robinson as Nick

Rob Corddry as Lou

Sebastian Stan as Blaine

Lyndsy Fonseca as Jennie

Crispin Glover as Phil

Chevy Chase as Repair Man

Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, John Cusack, and Clark Duke in Hot Tub Time Machine

Our reviews below:


Hot Tub Time Machine Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Hand soap isn’t quite the new hair gel, but Hot Tub Time Machine is still an aptly named, surprisingly alright new comedy for the mostly male teenaged/college crowd.  Is it good?  Well, I don’t think good is the right word.  I laughed and cringed, yes, both good signs of a gross-out comedy.  But, despite a few genuinely creative scenes and truly hilarious bits of dialogue, its eagerness to gross us out makes us laugh in spite of ourselves.  So I can’t necessarily say it’s good, but definitely alright.

Four guys from 2010 get together for a night of drinking and wild partying.  They try to hire an escort, but she is not available, so they naturally decide to pile into the hot tub.  Not sure why they take their clothes off first, but cue the Wild Hogs reference.  It’s also got references to 1980’s pop-culture of all stripes, including Back to the Future, Terminator and other things pertaining to time travel.  The film also has nods to The Shining, a shot of bare breasts, at least two scenes of projectile vomiting and other extreme gross-out gags.

I could say anything about this film, and people will still go and see it.  And on the plus side, it moves at a quick enough pace, and didn’t leave me desperately wanting to go back to the future – when it will be over, nor did it leave me feeling that the whole “hot tub time machine” idea would have been better off dead.  Just be warned, if you give it your heart, all it really offers in return is a pen, but that’s more than enough for this critic to write his review.  Will people scream “I want my 2 (or in this case 12) dollars back?”  It really all depends on how easily offended you are.

There is a scene in the movie that has more ’80’s pop-culture references than that last paragraph, and it’s actually so blatant, it’s creative.  For John Cusack – a very talented actor who’s not been getting roles up to his talent level, this is actually sort of a comeback/throwback.  Although nowhere near as good as Robert Zemeckis’s Back to the Future trilogy – which are some of my favourites and still a high point for time travel films – I think that’s a bit of an understatement.  So how does Hot Tub Time Machine fare with other, recent time travel films?  Well, for me, it’s a better movie than The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Although not as good, this is a comedy in a similar style as The Hangover.  In terms of rating, I’d probably give The Hangover about a star more than this one.  The Hangover had a twist so brilliant that you kicked yourself for not seeing it coming.  The twist here, I saw coming from the outset.  It’s actually far more raunchy than The Hangover, and not nearly as original.

To answer my earlier question, Hot Tub Time Machine is alright, with a few moments of true goodness.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually had a pretty good time getting tub’d – and I think you’ll have fun as well.  Even if you just wait for the DVD.


Hot Tub Time Machine Review By Erin V.

**1/4 (out of 4)

First off, giving this film 2 and a third stars is about 4% lower than two and a half.  I know, a bit crazy my way of rating, but I think there was at least 4% of the gags (some of the gross-out stuff) that could have been cut, so I’ll stand by my **1/4…

Hot Tub Time Machine is a film in which four guys go to an old ski resort together, (where three of them had fond memories from the ’80’s).  There, they find an old hot tub, somehow end up in it, and inadvertently send themselves back in time.  Put simply, if the title makes you want to see it, you’ll probably like it.

This movie is quite rude at times, but also admittedly very funny at times as well.  In terms of these kinds of comedies, I think it will appeal mostly to a specific target audience, (mainly 16-24 year old guys, as well as those who might have been in that age range in the mid-80’s), rather than have a wider catch of a movie like The Hangover.  The latter movie was smart as well as funny, and not nearly as gross-out or rude.  All around, it was a far more enjoyable movie.  Still, I think honestly, Hot Tub Time Machine will find it’s audience, and service them well.  Although you can easily wait to check this one out on DVD.


Hot Tub Time Machine Review By Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

Hot Tub Time Machine is a fast paced, raunchy comedy that has enough laughs to keep it going.  When a group of four friends go to a small resort, they discover a hot tub that can travel through time.  The travel back to 1986, when three of the guys were young and the youngest guy, Jacob, was conceived.  (How is this, if this movie takes place in 2010, going back to 1986, can Jacob be 20?  Would he not be 23 or 24?)  Anyway, Jacob, who loves science fiction, warns everyone not to change anything drastic, or he won’t be born.  The others change things, but in a positive way for everyone involved.

Hot Tub Time Machine is not for everyone.  You wouldn’t bring your grandmother to this one.  But, if you are looking something silly, with a lot of crude and rude humour, then this movie is worth checking out.  It will really appeal to Generation Xers who remember the 1980’s.


Hot Tub Time Machine Review By Maureen

** (out of 4)

How do four guys from 2010 end up back at a 1986 Winterfest sitting together in a hot tub?  A can of Russian energy drink and a squirrel are part of the answer.  The basic premise of time travel has all kinds of possibilities.  However, Hot Tub Time Machine is no Back to the Future.  Instead, this is a raunchy but often funny comedy starring John Cusack, with a cameo by Crispin Glover (Marty McFly’s Dad in Back to the Future) as a one-armed bellhop.

While the dialogue and running gags (one-armed bellhop, squirrels) are funny to a point, the gross-out humour was a bit much.  Maybe it’s just me, but I find it hard to eat popcorn and watch projectile vomiting at the same time.  The storyline itself works if you don’t think about it too hard, and the acting is decent, but a lot of the movie falls flat.  I did laugh out loud on more than one occasion but you really have to be in the mood for this kind of rude and crude humour to make it worth the price of admission.

Hot Tub Time Machine will play out just as well on DVD and in the meantime you can rent a similar but more intelligent movie called The Hangover.


Hot Tub Time Machine Review By Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

Hot Tub Time Machine has an intricate plot structure that in a way parallels Back to the Future but is unnecessarily more complicated and not nearly as careful to avoid glaring inconsistencies.  It also suffers by comparison being time shifted to a noisy 1980s ski resort rather than the bucolic 1950s, and is replete with fratboy humour and grossout gags that will surely appeal to its target audience.

For all that, the rest of us may still find the plot twists and ripoffs from other films mildly intriguing, and the cast, particularly John Cusack, is good, with some funny cameos from Crispin Glover and others.  Chevy Chase is just a bit creepy however, more Don Knotts from Pleasantville than Christopher Lloyd from Back to the Future.  ___________________________________________________________________________

Consensus: Hot Tub Time Machine is a surprisingly alright and very raunchy new comedy.  Although nowhere near as good as The Hangover, it is still funny and sure to be enjoyed by its target audience. **1/2 (Out of 4)


Crispin Glover in Hot Tub Time Machine

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