Thursday, February 19, 2015

Netflix Mail Day Movie Review: "Hot Tub Time Machine" (2010)

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Movie"Hot Tub Time Machine"
Director: Steve Pink
Year: 2010
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes

Adam (John Cusack) has just broken up with his girlfriend and has his adult nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), who does nothing but play video games all day, living in his basement. Nick (Craig Robinson) is trapped in a controlling marriage where he believes his wife is cheating on him and is also stuck in a dead-end job. When an old friend named Lou (Rob Corddry) seemingly attempts suicide, the three friends decide to get away from it all for a weekend. In an attempt to recapture their youth, the three friends, along with Jacob, head to a ski resort they would go when they were younger to party, ski and hook up with hot chicks. When they get there, they find that the resort and the town it is in are both dilapidated. Their only hope for any fun is the hot tub in their hotel room. When a Russian energy drink is spilled on its control panel, the hot tub goes haywire and sends them back in time to 1986 to relive the most memorable night of their lives, and maybe, it might give them a chance at a better future. 

Oh John Cusack, what happened to you? How did you find yourself in this movie? How did you end up here? Because really, the only reason he seems to be in this movie is so the writers could throw a "Better Off Dead" "I want my two dollars" joke in the script, that's it! Beyond this joke, Cusack seems wholly out of place in this raunchy comedy, something we're not opposed to seeing him do, but maybe under different circumstances, he would be and look more comfortable in his own skin. Luckily, he and his friends don't actually spend much time together in the movie, and when they do, it's usually to argue at one another about how the years slipped away from them, or who did what to destroy what's left of their eroding friendship. When he's not squabbling relentlessly, John Cusack's character Adam is used to fill the romance quota for the film as he starts to form a relationship with a music reporter named April, played by Lizzy Caplan, who is basically useless beyond this point. Craig Robinson manages to get in some laughs as Nick, playing a large but emotionally sensitive man, something he seems to be comfortable doing since this is not his first role like this. Rob Corddry is unbelievably obnoxious and abrasive, as well as over the top. His persona is suppose to be funny, but most of the time, we find his loud mouthed "bro" attitude annoying and even slightly offensive. Corddry is no stranger to this type of role, either, as it seems he has been typecast as such through most of his career. It also looks like he will be 10 times more annoying in the upcoming "Hot Tub Time Machine" sequel. Yes, you read that right, the Hot Tub. Time Machine. Sequel. *sigh* It's only when Corddry dials it back 12 or so notches that he manages to actually get in a laugh or two. As for Jacob, played by Clark Duke, he is only there to fill a specific part, too, as her serves as the voice of reason to keep the others on the same path that they took in the past. He is also the fish-out-of-water in the movie as someone who has never existed during the pre-internet, pre-cell phone era. Much of his character's humor comes from experiencing the days of lesser technology for the first time. While all of the men do seem to have a weird niche and connection with one another, it is only Cusack who feels misplaced, even from the first time they are all in a room together.

Most of the time, audiences are treated to a host of the usual R-rated comedy jokes about vomiting, urinating and defecating in and on strange places and things, gay jokes which never turn out to be funny because they are so basic, drug tripping jokes, as well as jokes about being naked or sexing mothers. We've seen it all before, and sure, this movie isn't Shakespeare, but it does serve for a few laughs every now and then. The language is crass, the humor is vulgar and really, we didn't expect any less. It's also not horrendously long, so there's that.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 63%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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