Three friends on losing streaks: Adam, whose girlfriend dumped him, Nick, with a dead-end job and a cheating wife, and Lou, a suicidal alcoholic. To help Lou recover from car-exhaust poisoning, Adam and Nick, with Adam's nephew Jacob, go to a winter resort that was their old party place. It's now a dump, but the lads rally for a night of drinking in the hot tub. Somehow, the hot tub takes them back to 1986, on a fateful night for each of them. Maybe if they do everything the same way they did that night, they'll get back to the future so Jacob can be born. There are serious temptations to do things differently. Will they make it back to their sorry lives? And what about Jacob?
Directed by: Steve Pink
. Starring: John Cusack
, Clark Duke
, Craig Robinson
, Rob Corddry
, Sebastian Stan
, Lyndsy Fonseca
, Crispin Glover
, Chevy Chase
, Charlie McDermott
, Lizzy Caplan
, Collette Wolfe
, Aliu Oyofo
, Jake Rose
. Music by: Christophe Beck
Prepare yourself, dear reader, for I am about to make a bold declaration that will either inflate or obliterate my prestigious position as a famed film critic. Here goes. John Cusack's throwback 80's flick is the best time traveling hot tub film ever created. Did I just blow your mind? Coyness aside, Hot Tub Time Machine is a supremely entertaining comedy, brimming with laughs and raunch all cemented with ample 80's nostalgia.
Director Steve Pink is no stranger to creating successful comedies, nor is he a Cusack virgin, having written the screenplays for both classics Grosse Point Blank and High Fidelity. He also helmed the criminally underrated 2006 comedy Accepted and with a resume like that, the fact that HTTM transcends in high concept title should really come as no surprise. There are some unnecessary visual gags and gross-out humour but the strength is in the writing and how the four leads skilfully execute that script. This is the perfect drunken Friday night movie and the kind that will only grow in cult-status as time progresses.
The four aforementioned leads are as follows: John Cusack as a single, unhappy man, Craig Robinson as a married, unhappy man, Rob Corddry as a divorced, unhappy man and rising young rising star Clark Duke as a nerdy, unhappy young man. For the exception of Duke's character that has never really lived, so to speak, the trio of former childhood friends have not seen their lives progress as they once dreamed. After Corddry's Lou attempts suicide, they all travel to their former haven in the mountains where they encounter
a time travelling hot tub. Whipped back to that very spot in the winter of 1986, they must choose between changing what had gone wrong in their respective pasts, versus facing the ramifications of altering their futures.
There are ample accolades that can be given to the cast of Hot Tub Time Machine and each character brings something different to the proceedings; Cusack is the wry straight-man and recaptures much of the essence he possessed in the 80's movies that made him famous. Robinson, who has been hilarious in essentially everything he has done, gets considerable laughs and a memorable singing number. Duke, as I alluded to is gaining momentum, still to star in the highly buzzed, ultra- violent Kick-Ass later this year. Finishing off with the main players, Rob Corddry gives his best performance, dropping much of his annoying mannerisms put forth in earlier films and succeeds in creating a far more endearing presence even though much of the raunch flows through him (or out of him in some cases). The best running gag is tied to Crispin Glover as an armless bellhop and is executed in a way you need to see to fully appreciate.
For some reason, this film is drawing comparisons to The Hangover ad nauseum. Not only are the similarities limited to their rating and the target demographic but Hot Tub Time Machine is far better in most every way. One thing I will say, along with last years smash, if this film is merely a rung in a growing ladder of quality R-rated flicks, then there will be no need for time travel; we need only look to the future.
Review by Simon_Says_Movies from the Internet Movie Database.