Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hot Tub Time Machine

by Guest Contributor Joe Leininger

Starring: John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, and Clark Duke
Director: Steve Pink
Genre: Raunchy comedy
U.S. Release: March 26th, 2010

I can't say that I've ever been a huge John Cusack fan, but when I heard about this movie I almost had a beneurysm. Alright, so I wasn't excited to that extent, but I do love most everything Craig Robinson (Darryl from The Office, Pineapple Express) touches and his performance in this flick did not stray from the path.

The movie starts out with longtime buddies Adam, Nick, and Lou deciding to escape their everyday problems and take a bender at a local ski resort. Adam (Cusack) also takes it upon himself to bring along his 23-year old nephew Jacob, who sits around the house all day and plays Second Life.

After some heavy boozing the foursome gets zapped back to 1986 and must find the clues to get back to present day, no matter the cost. At this juncture of the film it's not the how or why this happened but rather the absorption of the adventure.

I enjoyed this movie because it was cut from the same cloth as The Hangover and Back to the Future. The gross-out gags were tempered nicely with the one-liners and situational humor. At one point Nick (Robinson) realizes the absurd situation his dumbass friends got him in and looks straight at the camera, channeling some misplaced 'brother' rage seen only in Sam Jackson's character in Snakes on a Plane.

Even though at times it was hard to believe Nick's character would have been such good friends with the other characters most everyone was cast well. Crispin Glover's bellhop character was entertaining but I had a real problem with Chevy Chase as the repairman. Chase was drab, inconsequential and at times frustrating to watch. Clark Duke (who played Jacob) held his own with the others and it appears he can be a more well-rounded version of Jonah Hill.

The women of the movie weren't anything special, but with the way this film plowed its way into the 'guy movie' bin it wasn't much of a surprise or disappointment. Collette Wolfe was very easy on the eyes as Adam's mega-party-whore sister and I wouldn't be shocked to start seeing her in more movies.

This was by no means a must see in theatres but I would strongly suggest it to any John Cusack fan or comedy junkie. It wasn't as good as The Hangover but it gives that same feeling of careless adventure and debauchery. For only his second film as director, Steve Pink executed a comedic tale in which the majority of the gags will have the audience in stitches.


Ben Pearson said...

Nicely done, sir. I've been holding out hope for this project since its inception, and from the sound of it, the movie doesn't take a complete nosedive. I'll definitely check it out.

Alan Trehern said...

Chevy Chase is a fat tub of unfunny lard.

And he's old, therefore, incapable of delivering a joke.