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Jackie K. Cooper

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Hot Tub Time Machine: Another Hangover Anyone?

Posted: 03/27/2010 7:40 pm

Hot Tub Time Machine is the kind of movie you watch knowing that though you dislike it intensely, there are others who will lap up every crude situation and explicit sexual sequence. In that way it is like Hangover, a raucous, stupid film that won over audiences and some critics alike. Though it matches Hangover crudity for crudity it is unlikely Hot Tub Time Machine will have that sort of broad appeal.

Adam (John Cusack), Nick (Craig Robinson) and Lou (Rob Corddry) are best friends but business and relationships have kept them apart lately. Then one night, Lou almost asphyxiates himself in his garage and the other two rush to his bedside at the hospital. While there, they decide to take a road trip to a ski resort they had been to many years ago.

Arriving at the resort, with Adam's nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) along for the ride, they find it to be rundown and decrepit. The only thing that looks fairly decent is the hot tub. They all get in for a warm soak and suddenly they are back in 1986. The three guys look like their younger selves while Jacob looks the same, since he hasn't even been born yet.

The guys return to the swinging eighties gives them a chance to live the good life, if they want to and some of them definitely do. But seeing forty-something men trying to party like there's no tomorrow is not a pleasant sight. It comes off as more ridiculous than rational.

Cusack plays Adam like he is starring in a remake of Say Anything. Robinson is the most low key of the three. Corddry goes all out to see just how many people he and his character can offend. Duke just plays the observer of it all.

The plot and the jokes are mostly amateurish with poor Crispin Glover stuck in the role of a guy waiting to have his arm whacked off. Chevy Chase mumbles and bumbles his way through it all as some kind of time travel guru. Lizzy Caplan, Lyndsy Fonseca and Collette Wolfe are all forgettable in the supporting female roles.

The film is rated R for profanity, violence, nudity and sexual situations.

This is a film aimed at the imaginary world of teenage boys. There are no adults on view here. The main storyline is stupid and the ending is lame. Some will find it funny but others will be repulsed. If anyone is open to it, it will be the Hangover bunch. It is sad to think John Cusack has spent many years building a career to end up in something as offensive as this film.

I score Hot Tub Time Machine a future-less 3 out of 10.