Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)


BORIS: Ever since I started dating and breaking up with women I’ve made a sort of connection with the characters John Cusack plays in his movies. As I began to follow his career in search of a respite from women (because he understands me) I was turned onto some movies that I would not normally have watched. Like 2012… But even in that movie he played someone with relationship troubles. The world just happened to be ending at the same time. But now John Cusack was going back to the ’80s in a comedy where he played a character whose relationship has recently ended. Yes, this was going to be awesome.

Except that it wasn’t. That is not to say that there’s nothing of comedic value in Hot Tub Time Machine. The problem is that John Cusack’s involvement evokes better movies like Better Off Dead or Grosse Pointe Blank and the title brings to mind Back to the Future and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. You know. Awesome movies. Instead what we have here is a run of the mill stoner comedy with some boobage and inordinate amounts of the F-word. Now I’m a prude, I concede this, but when the entire movie is filled with this stuff it lessens how funny it can be. If the characters started cursing when they realized they had gone back in time I would have been more than amused. Of course, they did start cursing when they realized they were in the ’80s but because they curse like sailors the entire movie you can’t tell if they’re upset or not. I don’t know anyone who curses so much except for warehouse workers and truck drivers (lower class prejudice here).

The movie is made more disappointing simply because there are some parts of it that are really quite great. But those parts are pushed off to the background in order to let Rob Cordry scream at the top of his lungs for 80% of the film. The only bright side here is that I was certain the movie would make too many jokes about the ’80s to the point that it would get annoying, but the director sipmly didn’t have time to devote to the film’s actual subject matter.

It’s more entertaining than many comedies of this type, but it should have been shooting for John Hugh’s timelesness in lieu of following in the steps of The Hangover. The former style would have been ’80s appropriate too.

JAI: As a non-prude (A prout?), the sheer volume of f-bombs Rob Cordry drops onto his second scene was still surprising and felt unnatural until he is later able to better establish what kind of an asshole his character is. I don’t know; maybe it was still an unnatural form of humor, but I’ll take it over barf jokes any day.


Oh, he did that, too.

Fortunately, the movie is damn funny. I wouldn’t say that the jokes fly around thick and franticly, but between them and the bitter tale of three guys who are disappointed in their sad lives, there’s no downtime in the movie’s pace. And, yeah, the serious side of the story is actually fairly interesting and easy to relate to.

If I had to compare this movie to The Hangover, I’d agree that they are both movies and then ask why everyone feels the need to make a comparison at all. That movie was funnier, this movie is deeper, and so on. How do you like them apples and oranges?

And now, a lengthy coupling of words on “Unrated” home video editions. Hot Tub Time Machine is practically guaranteed to have one. And those things are always billed as being “too wild for the theater” or “too cool for your mom” or some shit. But I guarantee YOU, sir, TODAY, that this movie’s unrated cut is not going to have any extended or deleted scenes that were raunchier or more coarse than what was in the theater. Just like The Hangover’s unrated cut! You’ll get a few minutes that they shaved off of the theatrical running time for pacing, or some other not-naughty-at-all reason. This is the very last time I’ll be suckered into buying the Lord of the Rings: Unrated Cut (Too hot for theaters!) edition just because they make Galadriel appear to be topless on the DVD cover. I am fucking tired of those stupid insinuations, and not because they “trick” me.

Well, that’s off my chest.

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