Posted by Evrim Ersoy
May 5, 2010, 9:49 GMT
In theory ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ should be hilarious – it’s got a terrific cast, the premise is silly enough to work and on top of all this you have the entirety of the 80’s to make fun of. However somehow the film ends up being less than a sum of its’ parts – an occasionally entertaining comedy which seems unable to decide to be gross-out or time-travelling screwball.
"Hot Tub Time Machine" follows three best friends and Adam’s nephew Jacob who've become bored with their adult lives: Adam (John Cusack) has been dumped by his girlfriend; Lou (Rob Corddry) is a party guy who can't find the party; Nick's (Craig Robinson) wife controls his every move; and video game-obsessed Jacob (Clark Duke) won't leave his basement. After crazy nights of drinking in a ski resort hot tub, the men wake up, heads' pounding, in the year 1986. From this point on the film follows a formula of gross-out comedy involving bodily fluids and male homophobia whilst still trying to bring some wit to the screenplay.
The opening act of ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ works well enough – the banter between the friends and the established relationships feel strong enough to allow the audience to believe in the characters. However the first sign that something might be wrong comes quickly with a scene involving Lou at the hospital quickly turning disgusting.
Once the quarter go back in time however the real problems of the film start to shine through: the second half of the film almost feels like a mash-up: random scenes playing after random scenes, characters aimlessly running from one location to another only to go right back and plot points being dropped almost as quickly as they are raised.
Although there is the occasional laugh, it also doesn’t help that the heroes pretty much remain the same: especially Lou who seems to be a two-dimensional excuse for a human being does not change one iota throughout the film – it’s as if the scriptwriters chose not to focus on building anymore on these characters after the first 10 minutes.
The end of the film does tie the plot together in an haphazard way but by this point the film has lost so much of its’ original charm that you neither care nor mind.
It’s quite unfortunate that such potential is wasted so frivolously by the director and the scriptwriters – at least if anyone wants to make a film in the future about the same subject matter , they’ll have a handy example of what not to do.
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