Hot Tub Time Machine (15)
Dir. Steve Pink
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
“It must be like some kind of Hot Tub Time Machine…”
Strip off, jump in, and revisit the 80s with John Cusack as he teams up again with Steve Pink who previously worked together on the awesome Grosse Pointe Blank.
Hot Tub Time Machine takes a winningly crazy male bonding plot and adds unlikely time travel to excellent comic effect. It tells the tale of middle-aged pals Adam (Cusack) who has put his careers before his friends, Lou (Rob Corddry) your average suicidal alcoholic nutter, and Nick Webber (Craig Robinson), a husband who is completely under his wife’s thumb. Also along for this gross out time trip is Jacob (Clark Duke), Adam’s chubby uber geek nephew.
On a quest to recapture some of the thrills the group experienced ‘back in the day’ they revisit their favourite ski resort but the highly likeable quartet get transported back some twenty years to music festival Winterfest '86, which was a key weekend for them when they were young.
Cue some potentially classic goofball comedy which hits hard on the ‘guilty pleasure’ low brow comic targets whilst dealing in a fun sideline of coming of age shenanigans and some ‘space-time continuum’ hi-jinx.
It’s very rude and crude but also seriously funny with a non-stop blast of bad taste jokes as the guys have to re-enact their eighteen-year-old loves and misadventures. You’ll watch through your fingers a recurring limb severing gag, friends betting more than they ever dared on events they think they ‘know’ the outcome of and a brilliant pre-emptive strike where Nick phones and berates his cheating wife-to-be (who is only 9 at the time). Hats off to the writers for some really memorable scenes!
The only weak link is the slight romantic side plot which sees Adam fall for April – a free spirited music journalist (Lizzy ‘True Blood’ Caplan) but even this can’t derail the riotous joy of this sex-em-up comedy.
"booze fuelled Hot Tubs... not such a good idea"
Indeed, you don’t even have to have experienced the 1980’s to enjoy this madcap full frontal assault on your funny bone, although if you were there then the excellent ‘80’s soundtrack is likely to blow you away.
If you liked The Hangover (and I hope you did as it was the funniest film of 2009) then you should make a date to take a dip in the Hot Tub Time Machine ASAP!
UNSEEN DELETED SCENE:
The guys from the Hot Tub Time Machine run into the guys from The Hangover in a comedy genius cross over...
Darkmatters rating: öööööööö (8 '80's good times out of 10)
Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 7 / Style 7 / Babes 8 / Comedy 9 / Horror 5 / Spiritual Enlightenment 3