Hot Tub Time Machine (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner06/05/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 101 mins

Likeable, well acted and frequently funny comedy but its occasionally sloppy script and an over-reliance on lowbrow humour prevents it from becoming something really special.

What's it all about?
Directed by Steve Pink, Hot Tub Time Machine stars John Cusack as fortysomething Adam, who's just gone through a bad break-up and persuades his best friends – near-suicidal Lou (Rob Corddry) and married-but-unhappy Nick (Craig Robinson) – as well as his nerdy nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) to take a trip to a ski resort they used to go to 25 years ago. However, an accident with a hot tub and an energy drink sends them back to the year 1986, where they're confronted with several tempting opportunities to change their futures.

Conveniently, the three friends inhabit their own teenaged bodies, meaning that Adam has to decide whether or not to break up with his then-girlfriend (Lyndsey Fonseca), Nick can still play with his band and Lou can attempt to retrace his dimly remembered weekend of debauchery. However, when Jacob realises that he was conceived that weekend, he finds his life in jeopardy, Marty McFly-style and realises that he has to find the father he's never met.

The Good
The performances are excellent, with Robinson probably the stand-out – his delivery of the film's title line is hilarious and he also gets the film's best joke, which it would be unfair to reveal here. In addition, there are plenty of big laughs, whether it's witty one-liners, sight gags or comic set-pieces.

The Bad
The posters describe Hot Tub Time Machine as “The Hangover meets Back to the Future”, which is pretty accurate, though it's neither as clever or as funny as that description suggests. Essentially, it feels as if the filmmakers had the perfect script that would combine a clever time travel plot, a succession of terrific jokes and some moving emotional moments... and then they just decided to bin that script and film themselves pissing about instead.

As a result, the film relies too much on lowbrow humour, none of which is quite as funny as the film's cleverer moments, while the climax feels strangely unsatisfying for a number of different reasons, especially when compared to Back to the Future.

Worth seeing?
Hot Tub Time Machine delivers plenty of laughs, but it's hard not to see how much better it could have been with a few simple tweaks.

Film Trailer

Hot Tub Time Machine (15)
Hot Tub Time Machine has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 24/10/2017 12:08

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