Sign up for our newsletters   

Baltimore City Paper home.

film Home > Movie Reviews

Film Clips

Hot Tub Time Machine


By Joe MacLeod | Posted 3/24/2010

Time travel is annoying because there are all these rules about how you can't meet yourself or marry your grandmother or kill Hitler or a robot or whatever, and time travel movies get all caught up in that crap and you are invariably subjected to some sort of disbelief-suspending pseudoscientific explanation for how the hot tub turned out to be a time machine when all you wanna do is get to the good part of the movie, but not this time--which, in this case, is 1986, which almost qualifies it as a horror flick. This time, you get a raggedy, messy, stupid, and straight-for-the-funnybone back-from-the-future movie that simultaneously satisfies/takes a big dump on the Rules of Time Travel as We Know It while concentrating on the laffs--mostly in a rude, dirty way as opposed to clever--and lots of rad '80s fashion tragedy and tech.

So if you would like to have an unapologetic laugh, lower your standards and your brow, won't you, as we join John Cusack (we always for some reason expect better of him, but here he is, doing whatever he wants) playing straight man in a quartet of unhappy guys arrayed on various stations of the hetero-male loser spectrum--Lou (Rob Corddry), a drug-addled train wreck we swear is inspired by the drug-addled trainwreck character from 1984's Tom Hanks/Adrian Zmed/Tawny Kitaen comedy classic Bachelor Party, but that's just us; Nick (Craig Robinson) as a coulda-been lead singer/star; and Jacob (Clark Duke, who's gonna be getting a lotta work in the Awkward Young Man slot), the Awkward Young Man Who Can't Get Laid--who find themselves sent back in time to do what we've always wanted people to do when they go back in time: fuck shit up, man. Not to fix anything or to learn anything as they fail at dealing with all the time-travel paradoxes while engaged in various self-destructive, illegal, homo/phobic/curious, and generally irredeemably humorous activities of the meatheads-at-a-kegger variety.

Yes, it's disgusting and regrettable and totally fucking hilarious and if you laugh, you are going to hell. And Corddry, as the loseriest loser of the pack, just plain thrashes around desperately like a trapped, wounded comedy animal, debasing himself in every direction to maximum effect. Chevy Chase stops by to be irritating, and there's a Very Special Guest Star from another movie about going Back in Time, and this Hot Tub movie should really somehow be rated X, because the official "Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, drug use and pervasive language" does not come close to explaining some of the atrocities you will witness and even cheer on to completion.

E-mail Joe MacLeod

Comments powered by Disqus
Calendar
CP on Facebook
CP on Twitter