Don’t break out your Yo-Yo just yet
There were many cool and not so cool things to come out of the 80’s. Let us take a moment to reminisce. You probably wore your MC Hammer pants with pride, took swimming lessons, built forts, made those paper pyramid things that said who you were going to marry when you opened them up, put the things in Kellogg’s cereals in your bicycle spokes to make cool noises, played with your Etch-A-Sketch, ate Spaghetti O’s, watched the A-Team, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club, listened to New Kids on the Block and finally, got your first erection over Molly Ringwald. Equally 2010 is shaping up to be a saucy mistress both on and off the screen with the arrival of the iPad and screen gems such as Scott Pilgrim and The Expendables. However, when the two are combined you end up with a rather curious mix.
Hot Tub Time Machine rolls out like this. Disappointed at the way their lives have turned out, Adam (John Cusack), Lou (Rob Corddry), Nick (Craig Robinson), and Jacob (Clark Duke) have all seen better days; Adam’s and Nick’s love lives are in the dumps, Lou is clinging to his hard-partying past, and video-game addict Jacob can’t even muster the courage to walk outside. When Lou tries to commit suicide it brings the old group of friends back together and to prevent Lou relapsing they decide that the best plan of action is to stay at the ski resort where the gang made some of their best memories. After boozy night in a magical jacuzzi the boys are transported back to the year 1986. It becomes clear that in order to preserve order in the world they must take necessary steps to live through the 80’s a second time. Determined not to make the same mistakes twice, Adam, Lou, Nick, and Jacob decide to take full advantage of the unique opportunity presented to them, and create the lives they’ve always wanted.
I certainly didn’t agree with a press quote I read recently that said HTTM was like, “The Hangover meets Back to the Future”. Baring in mind Back to the Future is the sole reason that I took an interest in film at a very young age. The 80’s depicted in HTTM didn’t even come close to pinning down that over whelming sense of nostalgia I have when I watch B2TF. Equally HTTM does have some funny gags in it, but if compared to the Hangover it’s some way shy of its super sharp script. However, negatives out of the way, I certainly think there could have been worse ways to spend a Monday evening.
I have, even now as I write this, very conflicting feelings toward the film. It’s got some really genuinely funny moments for example when Lou is considering how to make his fortune based on all his knowledge of the future he proposes combining Twitter and Viagra to create “Twittagra”, but some jokes are predictable and a little smelly like when Nick asks someone what colour Michael Jackson is and predictably they reply “Black” to which causes one of our lead males to drop the kids off and run out screaming. Crispin Glover provides one the funniest and perhaps unexpected jokes to run throughout the course of the film as he is constantly in danger of having his arm chopped off by various hazards on the ski resort. The cast works well together in general. John Cusack looks a little tired and appears to have repurposed his character traits from High Fidelity. The clear standouts are Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson who are given some great dialogue and really work well as characters. There’s also a cheeky cameo from Chevy Chase as he pops up as the mysterious Jacuzzi technician.
It’s certianly daft and if you’re in need of simply being entertained and not challenged in any way, this movie should be fine for a lazy Saturday night.
Hot Tub Time Machine arrives at cinemas May 7. Check out the trailer here
*I must also say thanks to SeeFilmFirst who keep sending me off to screenings to films that I’m not working on. It’s really appreciated.*