Hot Tub Time Machine review - Snakes On A Plane. Aliens In The Attic. Kung Fu Panda. Say what you like about the films, but anyone who saw them knew exactly what they were going to get.
The same applies to Hot Tub Time Machine, a bawdy comedy boasting what is surely this year’s most self-explanatory movie title. You might think it dumb, but no one could Jacuzzi it of being obscure...
With gags involving a severed arm, projectile vomit and a dog with a car key up its butt, Steve Pink’s farce could hardly be called highbrow either. But it’s a hell of a lot funnier than Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, the last flick to turn an everyday object (there, a pub urinal) into a portal.
That is partly because Hot Tub’s writers keep things simple, transporting its four loser heroes back to one weekend in 1986 when the seeds of their current dissatisfaction were sown. But it’s also down to the playful, Hangover-like rapport between John Cusack’s recently dumped Adam, Rob Corddry’s suicidal party animal Lou and Craig Robinson’s pussy-whipped Nick, whose decision to spend a lad’s weekend at a dilapidated ski resort – accompanied by Adam’s geeky nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) – sees them accidentally activate a whirlpool wormhole.
“I hate this decade!” sighs Cusack, whose ’80s icon status makes his relocation to the era of brick phones and Red Dawn appear particularly apposite. (See also Chevy Chase as a mysterious hot tub mechanic and Back To The Future’s Crispin Glover as a hotel porter.)
Yet it’s Corddry who’s the stand-out, his petulant man-child ensuring we’re still chuckling long after the humorous potential of the picture’s fantastical premise has been exhausted. He also scoops the best line – your Diff’rent Strokes memories will be forever tarnished…
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Every bit as stupid as that tell-all title suggests, Hot Tub might well set a new benchmark for dumbing down. Thank God it’s a hoot, Cusack and cohorts milking its preposterous scenario for as many laughs as they can get.