Hot Tub Time Machine
Everyone loves a buddy comedy, right? Sure the laughs are cheap, but generally they’re thick, fast and cheerful, with a plot that careers like an enthusiastic labrador to a satisfyingly predictable conclusion. Bless them, we say. Bless all who ride in them. Unless, of course, you’re talking about Hot Tub Time Machine; the laziest, dully-degrading, least funny bromance movie we’ve seen in some time, made all the more offensive by the evident comic potential of the cast. Oh dear oh dear. And the title was so awesome.
John Cusack is back
The premise is fairly self-explanatory, but heck, we’ve got time, let’s go through it anyway. Three estranged high school buddies Adam (John Cusack), Nick (Craig Robinson) and Lou (Rob Gorddry) re-unite after Lou attempts suicide, sick of a medioce existence. Together, they realize that life haven’t exactly turned out the way they’d hoped, and decide to take a trip to the ski lodge where they’d had such good times as teenagers. Dragging along Adam’s reluctant nephew Jacob (Clark Duke, who after being in Kick-Ass really should know better) they retire to a snowy mountain top, climb into a hot tub and… well… it turns out that its a time machine. And they wake up in the 1986, the very year they’d had such youthful high yinks there. Except Jacob, of course, because he doesn’t exist yet. But he does. Cos he’s there. How does that make sense? Shut up, alright? Your crazy new-fangled logic has no place here.
So anyway, the team realise that they have another chance to do things all over again. So should they follow fate’s path, or try and do things differently this time around? With a magic hot tub that will turn back on at dawn (or something), they only have one night to find out…
You’ll shed a tear. Not of laughter
Thing is, the mega-plot holes, the paper thin plot and ridiculous premise would be utterly fine if this film were actually funny. A hot tub time machine? Great bloody idea in our book. Who can ask for anything more? But the problem is that it’s not. It’s just not funny. The script is almost remarkably weak, relying on gross-out set pieces (think “oh my god he’s got some wee on him” etc) and the cast’s natural talent to scrape together some laughs. Of which there are about five. “Lads” will probably be appreciative of the endless array of teen hotties, though a scene where the nigh-on 50 Cusack makes out with a young teen just comes across as exceptionally creepy. By the time you get to “jokes” like “if you win this bet my wife will give you a blow job”, to which said spouse grins happily, you can’t help but feel pretty depressed by the whole thing.
Thankfully, it’s pretty short (we have a feeling there were some fairly shrewd decisions made in the cutting room) and to be fair, the 80s soundtrack is awesome. But we expected so much more from such a talented team. Shame on you John Cusack. What the hell do you think you’re doing here? Never mind a hot tub, we felt a bit like we needed a good bath after extracting ourselves from 90 dirty minutes of sub-standard meandering. Turn your brain off, and this might just be acceptable background noise, but if you want anything else we’d pass it on by. Despite our greatest hopes, at the end of the day Hot Tub Time Machine is – sadly – luke-warm at best.