Alright, I will be the first to admit that perhaps I was not the target audience for Hot Tub Time Machine. I’ve never been a fan of Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, or Seth Rogen. Fart jokes are lost on me. Unfortunately for me, my Saturday night, and my $11, that’s pretty much what this movie was.
John Cusack, Craig Robinson, and Rob Corddry play Adam, Nick, and Lou, three friends attempting to recapture the glory days of their youth by revisiting their favorite ski hangout. Adam’s 24-year-old nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) tags along as well, as Adam wants to get him out of the house and the writers need someone who could conceivably be genre-savvy to deliver the obligatory “Rules of Time Travel” exposition later in the film.
Through the magic of glowing hot tubs, special effects, and a rotating camera lens, the four find themselves back in 1986. Adam, Nick, and Lou, to all observers, look exactly as they did back then. Jacob somehow manages to retain his own appearance, which works out well for him, as he hadn’t yet been conceived (work out the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey-ness of that one and get back to me). 80s references and “No, this is our chance to make it all better!” hijinks ensue, everyone learns a valuable lesson about friendship and roll credits.
Honestly, I went into this movie looking for something so bad it was good. The breaking the fourth wall moment in the trailer gave me the hope that Hot Tub Time Machine was going to be a bad movie that knew it was a bad movie and embraced that. Instead, the movie took itself too seriously for a solid B movie and not seriously enough for science fiction. I give it one star with a little extra for an oblique Doctor Who reference and Lizzy Caplan looking like Tori from Saved By The Bell.
Review By: Jennifer Steele