Review by: Christopher Haskell
July 2, 2010

How can a film by the name of “Hot Tub Time Machine” be any good? That was the question I posed when seeing the trailer of the film for the very first time. The cast looked ridiculous (“why in God’s name is John Cusack in a raunchy comedy“) and the concept was farfetched even for a ridiculous concept comedy. I see now that with the right combination of elements, even an outrageous plot about a hot tub that can teleport four friends back to the 80’s can actually make for an alright buddy comedy. Rob Corddry’s antics as the belligerent wild man drives the film, Clark Duke’s witty responses and back and forth dialogue with the older cast members brings out his best as an up-and-comer, and Craig Robinson pours on the awkwardness like no other actor in Hollywood. All three comedians bring there “A” game and show exactly why they have staying power.

The inclusion of John Cusack is the addition that truly grounds this film. How you may ask? John Cusack is relatively a dramatic centerpiece.” Say Anything,” “Serendipity,” “Martian Child”… the list goes on. Sure he can be comical, but mainly in his own eccentric fashion. Cusack brings that same eccentricism to his role in “Hot Tub Time Machine.” At times, Cusack is the funniest character of the film, as he gets stabbed in the eye with a fork, wallows in his own self-pity, and taunts the bellman who will come to lose his arm. Cusack continues to shock and amaze me with his range as an actor.

Chevy Chase’s presence does not go unnoticed. Though I could have done without his cryptic messages as the mechanic of the mysterious hot tub, his character only added to the utter ridiculousness of the film. Though the film would probably hit home slightly more had I grown up in the 80’s, I was still able to find the humor. Normally raunchy comedies are not my forte, especially when crazy squirrels and random people in bear costumes are involved but the unlikely cast mixes just well enough to get me to actually come out enjoying this film. Get passed the ridiculous title and the film actually delivers some memorable moments.

March 26, 2010

Steve Pink

Josh Heald
Sean Anders
John Morris


$36 million

(for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, drug use and pervasive language)

101 minutes


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