“Hot Tub Time Machine” Review

Posted March 31, 2010 by Jay Wheeler in Entertainment, Retail, Reviews

HotTubTimeMachine-700x469 copy

Best comedy of the year? Read to find out.

Let me start off by saying, that the trailers for “Hot Tub Time Machine” don’t give it enough credit. When the first few were released, I had the assumption that it would be a 2 hour long film about wiener jokes. Surprisingly enough, “Hot Tub” actually has some substance in it, but not a ton of it…

The plot is pretty simple: 4 friends take a trip to a ski resort to unwind and reconnect with each other. After they wake up the next morning after a long night of drunken hot tub partying, they realize they have been sent back to 1986. They must live that night the exact same way they did over 20 years ago or they may disrupt the timeline and not get back home to 2010!

The story went through the basic “time travel movie” rules, like having to do the exact same things so you don’t affect the future. For the most part, they did that well. A few times however, they screwed up, leaving huge unexplained holes in the story. I will try not to give spoilers, but in the “Football” or “break up” scenes, those were the exact opposite of what happened in real life or in the story. Wouldn’t that have affected the future? Well we wouldn’t know, because of the lack of any explanations.

The main characters were what really made the film. Rob Corddry shined as “Lou”, the crazy partygoer down for anything. Not only did he get the most scenes and punch lines, but he makes the film totally worth it. Clark Duke was the character that had the most interactions with Corddry, and they made comedy gold. Craig Robinson was impressive as “Nick”, but I would have liked to have seen more of him acting like a badass instead of kind of being a sissy. Lastly, I was not impressed with John Cusack at all. In my opinion, he could have been replaced by anyone in Hollywood and it may have been a better role. Cusack didn’t bring anything special to the role like the others did. Other impressive smaller characters were Chevy Chase as the crazy repair man, and Crispin Glover. Why Crispin Glover? It’s an obvious throwback to his role in “Back to the Future”! That I can respect!

Don’t get me wrong, I liked the movie and think it was well worth the money. I just believe that it could have been something that stood out, but instead, it felt pretty forced. It seemed that they had to dumb it down for audiences to “get” it. Where there should have been possibly a reference or explanation of some of the plot, they covered it up with a drug reference or sex joke.

It’s understandable how this keeps getting compared to “The Hangover”; they are both good, recent comedies that have a bunch in common. I can’t really say which one is better, because while “The Hangover” kind of went for a “realistic” (and I use that term loosely) feel, “Hot Tub” purposely went all out and over the top! If I had to choose which to see again, my choice would have to be “Hot Tub” because I feel as though I could pick up on things I may have missed.

In the end, “Hot Tub Time Machine” is a good movie to watch with friends, but don’t expect it to blow you away.

Summary (out of 5 stars)

  • Plot – 3
  • Cinematography – 2.5
  • Acting – 3
  • Dialog – 2.5
  • Soundtrack – 4


Christian Davis March 31, 2010 at 6:58 PM

I would have given the movie a higher rating then that! Good read though. And it's funnier then "The Hangover." Good review!

Daniel Pepper March 31, 2010 at 10:45 AM

I heard good things about this.I will definitely have to look into seeing it with some mates whilst on the break from college. Good Read!


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