A Luke Warm Hot Tub
As a teenager during the 80s any movie which takes us back to the decade of bad hair and even worse fashion holds some sort of appeal. But whilst "Hot Tub Time Machine" takes us back to the 80s it might as well not have bothered because this is a movie which is all about crude jokes, blow jobs gags and little else. Actually that is a little lie as for the first 75 minutes it's all about the crude jokes and over the top daftness, which frankly struggles to be funny, but then for the last 15 or so minutes it actually goes somewhere, has a purpose and is actually enjoyable. Maybe it was a case of expecting some clever 80s humour rather than the forced and crude humour on show, but it almost feels like "Hot Tub Time Machine" was a wasted opportunity.
Life isn't going well for Adam (John Cusack - 2012) as his girlfriend has dumped him, things aren't much better for Nick (Craig Robinson - Pineapple Express) as he works in a dead end job and Lou (Rob Corddry - What Happens in Vegas) well between drinking too much and almost gassing himself to death with exhaust fumes his life sucks as well. But it is Lou's accident which brings them together along with Adam's nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) to take a break to Kodiak Valley, the place where during the 80s Adam, Nick and Lou had so much fun. After a night of alcohol fuelled fun in a hot tub they wake up and find themselves back in 1986, surrounded by bad hair and worse fashion. Somehow they must get back to the future but they cannot mess up the course of history as it could mean that Jacob won't have a future.
Now to be honest for the first 3 quarters of "Hot Tub Time Machine" the storyline is pointless as we have these three friends and a nephew magically ending up in 1986 after a drink fuelled night in a hot tub. All the build up to this where each of these people have issues in their life from failed relationships to crap jobs feels cliche in a "Wild Hogs" sort of way. It's all so unimaginative as is what goes on once this foursome end up back in 1986 where we get a bit of "Back to the Future" like thinking over changing the past can change the future which causes Jacob to fear that he may not exist in the future.
To be honest whilst you have individual stories where Adam has to dump his 1986 girlfriend again, Lou has to get beaten up and Nick has to sleep with a groupie all of it is really about being as crude as possible. I lost count at the blow job gags and there are a few topless women to go along with it, which to be honest I am not complaining about. But the trouble is it is just trying too hard to be funny and everything is so forced from Lou and Jacob finding themselves with a woman who only does two at a time through to Nick struggling to have sex with a groupie because in the future he is married and it would be cheating. The annoying thing is that in between all the forced crude humour there are some clever moments, the mirror scene where they see themselves as they look to everyone else is clever and whilst copying "Back to the Future" the fact that Jacob flickers when his future is threatened leads through to an amusingly clever scene.
And what is just as annoying is that after just over an hour of being for the most pointless "Hot Tub Time Machine" finally finds its stride with a mix of story and humour which works. It is this ending which makes all the nonsense which goes on before worth wading through and stops the movie from ending up below par.
As for the acting well to be honest it's for the most forgettable with the exception of Rob Corddry as Lou because he is the one at the centre of the majority of the crudeness. But strangely it is 3 actors who don't have much to do which make the biggest impression because Aliu Oyofo, Jake Rose and Brook Bennett pull of the 80s look quite brilliantly especially Jake Rose who freakishly looks like a teenage version of John Cusack.
What this all boils down to is that "Hot Tub Time Machine" was a disappointing movie because rather than going for clever humour as it takes us back to the 80s it goes down the crude and unimaginative route and sadly far too much of it is forced. It's only saved by the fact that there are the occasional moments of cleverness and the ending actually comes good with a nice blend of story and humour. In a way this is a group of grown men trying to do "American Pie" style crudeness and to be honest it doesn't really work.