Funny, but not hilarious.
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
Directed By: Steve Pink (Accepted)
Well look at me here reviewing a comedy film! I try to move out of the horror genre at times and I suggest you all do the same as well because it’s actually good for you to give the gore and blood a break at times. My quest to see more films in other genres lead me to Hot Tube Time Machine, a movie I figured might be OK, but I pretty much knew going in there was no way in hell it was getting any better than that. John Cusack may be able duck his way through the apocalypse, but he isn’t a miracle worker. If you want proof of that then take a look at the “just OK” film we are about to review.
Adam (the great John Cusack) and his two best friends Nick and Lou are fed up with their lives. Adam has been dumped, Nick has a job that is about as far off as it could be from what he wanted to be, plus he has a cheating wife, and Lou is soo down he may have just tried to kill himself. Together along with Adam’s nephew, Jacob, who doesn’t know his father, they all take a trip to get away from it all. This leads to them getting inside a hot tube and being sent back to the 80’s. Can they keep things how they are or improve things? Better yet, can they keep from screwing things up soo bad that Jacob isn’t even born?
A movie like this, with such a ridiculous title, can go one way or another. It can either be kinda good or really bad. Being “great” just isn’t in the cards for a film like this. And while I absolutely love seeing one of my favorites, Lizzy Caplan of Cloverfield, playing a possible love interest of Mr.Cusack, the film is just kinda good. It also means it’s just kinda funny and not hilarious. Maybe because outside a few funny moments, it’s just a nostalgia trip that rushes through things and doesn’t spent enough time on important things and just focuses on more none important issues, like why they need to know for sure that the repair man (Chevy Chase) is indeed their guide through this thing when it’s beyond clear he is.
Taking a look at the cast you seen an odd combo, not a bad combo of people, but it is odd. John Cusack, Chevy Chase, Crispin Glover, ect. are all good for what they do, but here it doesn’t always click. The men playing the two best friends of Cusack are Craig Robinson and Rob Corddry, funny in bit player parts, but not funny enough here to play more major roles. But don’t let what I’m saying stir you the wrong way, I’m not saying it isn’t funny at times, I’m not saying it’s not worth at least renting, I’m just saying it at times comes across a little awkward and packs a few more than predictable plot elements and twists.
When I think of some of the better comedies that have came out in the past five to ten years, what comes to mind is Superbad and The Hangover. Hot Tub Time Machine isn’t either of those films, not even close, but it’s at least better than a lot of the other none sense you see out these days. At the end of the day it is kinda cool to see John Cusack go from surviving the end of the world in some films to being right back at home in the 80’s in another. And it’s a shame they didn’t play up more on the fact he was in a few really awesome 80’s movies. But none the less, it isn’t awful, and that’s a big win for a movie like this because it sure could have been.
I’d say rent it, but it’s probably not worth buying unless you just for some reason feel the urge. Some of the jokes are really immature and some are kinda funny, so it’s a bit of a mixed bag. I didn’t hate it, so I might be open to watching it again at some point down the road, but that will be pretty far down the road.
The Rating (6/10)