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Hot Tub Time Machine movie review

Published on June 2016 | Categories: Types, Reviews, Film | Downloads: 55 | Comments: 0
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Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
John Cusack, Rob Corddry

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Hot Tub Time Machine
(2010)
Though I spent most of my high school and collegiate years in the 80s (in fact my education comprised the greater part of the decade), I nonetheless hold no special fondness for it, as I do for the two decades directly preceding it. Big hair, bad music, synthesizers everywhere, horrible clothes – I tend to look at the 80s the way most people look at the 70s, except with a lot more justification. So the idea that someone would time travel back to that period strikes me as wildly absurd, because there are so many more deserving periods to visit. On the other hand, the 80s did bequeath us an abundance of cheaply made, bad teen flicks featuring nubile young women and mostly forgettable male leads centered around some sporting or school event. It is this version of the 80s that Hot Tub Time Machine chooses to pick fun at, which makes the concept considerably more appealing. Also, John Cusack is in it, and I enjoy him even in his bad films. The rough idea is that three friends have really crappy lives, and when one of them (Rob Corddry) tries to kill himself, the other two (Cusack and Craig Robinson) decide to take him on a weekend getaway to a place they used to haunt as kids, a ski lodge. For reasons never made clear, Cusack‟s nephew (Clark Duke) comes along with them. Only when they get to the lodge, they find it a run-down ramshackle affair, whatever glory days it might have had long gone, and they proceed to get more depressed – until by spilling some Russian energy drink (the wonderfully named „Chernobly‟) on the hot tub‟s controls, they somehow manage to find themselves back in time, at a particular weekend in 1986 when they were all visiting the lodge (this is the kind of time travel where you go back in your own body; we see the guys as they exist in their 40s, but everyone else sees them as teenagers) – it‟s never explained how the nephew, who wouldn‟t even be alive, is there, but we‟re told almost directly by the other characters that it isn‟t important. Of course, each of them must examine his own life and try to figure out where they went wrong, even as they argue back and forth about changing the past and what it might mean. And of course they all get stoned or drunk and try to get laid, which seems to be the main draw of this ski lodge, that it‟s one long 80‟s-movie style party. The film cleverly plays on both the ignorance of its main protagonists and throws some sly nods to both the 80s movies it mocks and time travel pictures (Crispin Glover, who played Marty‟s dad in the Back to the Future movies, is a bellhop here; one scene features the actor who played the bad guy in Karate Kid). But more than that, the movie is sharply aware that the 80s, well, kind of sucked (“Free love, woo!” Corddry‟s character cries out when they realize they are in the past, to which Cusack rebuts, “That was the 60s, man. This is the 80s. We have Reagan and AIDS. Let‟s get the hell out of here.”), and contents itself with merely having fun with the styles, fashions, and obsessions of the era (in a hilarious Red Dawn spoof, the ski

patrol finds the cans of Chernobly and assumes Cusack and co. are Russian spies out to blow up the ski lodge). It‟s dopey in spots, but it also both enjoys and pokes fun at its source material in mostly a clever way. This isn‟t the greatest comedy you‟ll ever see, but it is keenly funny in many spots, and especially for those of us who sat through a lot of those types of teen films in the 80s, this movie will really make you laugh. If you‟re unfamiliar with the decade or its filmed output, this movie might not seem all that funny to you, but I would bet most people who grew up in the 80s, like I did, would find this movie a great deal of fun. August 27, 2010

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