Hot Tub Time Machine

Four losers binge drink in a ski lodge hot tub. When they wake up, it’s 1986—the day of the Poison concert that was their last great weekend. Says Craig Robinson staring straight at the audience: “It must be some kind of . . . hot tub time machine.” Steven Pink’s raucous, knowingly-nonsensical comedy is designed for dudes who whoop back at the screen. It’s a bro-down, and every second has been calibrated for maximum bro-fficiency. A lazy beat? Projectile vomit on a squirrel! I’ve never been pro-projectile vomit on a squirrel, but truth be told, Pink is a projectile-vomit-on-a-squirrel gold medalist. The soundtrack thrums with Mötley Crüe hits (from 1989’s Dr. Feelgood, but hell, you were expecting credibility?) and gets down and dirty with its four leads, all willing to do anything for a laugh. Craig Robinson is the emasculated husband, John Cusack the wealthy cold heart, Rob Corddry—breaking out from bit parts with his balls-out performance—is the suicidal prick and Clark Duke is the geeky nephew who realizes that if he can’t get these three selfish jerks to reenact every life-altering mistake, he might never be born. You know, the Butterfly Effect. Screenwriters Josh Heald, Sean Anders and John Morris steal shamelessly from Back to the Future, though I’m pretty sure that flick didn’t open with Michael J. Fox digging keys out of a dog’s rectum. Still, both movies share Crispin “Dorian Gray” Glover, here playing a bellhop fated to lose his arm—a plot point that keeps us squirming and Corddry cheering, arms up in the air like a ref every time Glover’s elbow gets caught in a door. Often, I’m asked how I judge a movie: what does it want to be, and what percent of that is it? Hot Tub Time Machine wants to be a joke-packed, testosterone-stinky, idiot fest. Success!

Click here for Hot Tub Time Machine in the IE Weekly

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