Hot Tub Time Machine (Review)

(3/26/10; Comedy, Fantasy)
John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Crispin Glover, Lizzy Caplan, Chevy Chase, Sebastian Stan, Lyndsy Fonseca, Collette Wolfe
SCR: Josh Heald and Sean Anders & John Morris
DIR: Steve Pink
MPAA: R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, drug use and pervasive language.
1 hour 33 mins
BOX: $50,287,556

Three sorry middle-aged guys (Cusack, Coddry and Robinson, all great) return to the site of their greatest parties, now a crumbling ski resort. No sooner than they arrive, they are magically transported back to 1986 to what was a defining weekend in their lives (although they still look middle-aged to us).

Along for the ride is Cusack’s nebbishy nephew (Duke), who acts as the Greek chorus to all this madness (he’s also just met his slutty mom and realizes he’s about to be conceived). A mash-up of Back to the Future and The Hangover, this ribald comedy may embrace dick and sex jokes but is also smart enough to hang its hat on the concept of making the most out of life when you have the chance to.

Like Back to the Future, there is a lot of messing up the time/space continuum and a gratuitous helping of Crispin Glover, once again playing the past and present versions of a wacky character. All the hallmarks of time-travel flicks are accounted for, allowing director Pink and his merry band of pranksters a lot of freedom.

This is a smart, foul, crude and hysterical romp. (MGM)


Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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