Boyish antics, crude humor and life’s big choices all mix with alcohol and ’80s pop hits for one ridiculous ride in Hot Tub Time Machine. Tongue-in-cheek from start to finish, the film barely skips a beat, with non-stop jokes from a talented cast.
The film charts the over-the-top time travel of four friends on a ski weekend after Lou (Rob Corddry) has a little accident with a rock anthem and a garage. None of them is particularly happy with his life (especially Lou), but they’re hoping to kick back, live it up and use their man-cation to get away from it all. As predicted, their boozy night in the hot tub brings them more than a serious hangover and shriveled hands: by morning, the ski resort is filled with neon-clad skiers and TVs with Ronald Reagan and MTV when it was still a music channel. Welcome to 1986!
Most of the misadventures that ensue involve bare-chested women, shots of tequila, potty humor and a steady stream of nostalgia-driven jokes about the 1980s. Tucked between the sex jokes and fist fights, though, are musings about some of life’s heavier questions: namely, whether we really have control over our future, and what we would do with a second chance. Of course, the guys have some fun with time travel, too. Lou bets big money on a football game, Nick (Craig Robinson) gets a crowd bouncing to the Black Eyed Peas, Adam (John Cusack) tries to make nice with an ex, and the young Jacob (Clark Duke) meets girls without texting (hint: it’s not easy).
The DVD offers both a theatrical and home entertainment version of the film, but be warned! The latter of which requires ears of steel. The same goes for most of the extras, the best of which feature the stars testing material in multiple takes of the same scene, allowing them to veer far, far off the rails of decency. Still, after the deep thoughts, shoulder pads and wild parties, the best part about Hot Tub Time Machine is that it’s really about pure, unabashed fun — exactly how a snowy, time-warped weekend should be.