Very rarely does a film come along that incites interest and excitement from the title alone. Not since Snakes on a Plane has a film done this to a mass audience, and unfortunately, the excitement of that title led to an underwhelming payoff in the film itself. Luckily, we fans of comedy and cult cinema get a second chance at happiness with the upcoming release of Hot Tub Time Machine.
I’ll admit, after hearing about the title, seeing who was in the cast, and getting a peek at the first trailer, I was ready to get excited about the film, which is never a good sign. Thankfully, in checking out a screening of the flick, not only does it hold up to its ironic title, but kills with its spot-on writing and nonstop visual humor.
I’d explain the premise to you, but if you’re going into a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine and you’re looking for some kind of Notebook style story that you can sell to your wife or girlfriend, you’re out of luck. This movie is roughly 90 minutes of hilarity, done in a setting of science fiction. If Bill and Ted graduated from San Dimas High School, grew up, went through a few failed marriages, and had a drinking problem, they would be the characters in Hot Tub.
A big marketing strategy when it comes to a raunchy comedy is to put some of the laugh-out-loud moments from the film into the trailers, be they red-band or general audience. While Hot Tub Time Machine has put out plenty of different variations of the trailer, the most important thing in seeing the film is that they’re still saving some of the funniest moments for when you get into the theaters. So if you don’t find yourself hunched over with laughter during one of the trailers, that simply means that some of the funniest stuff in the film is just too raunchy to make it to your TV or computer screen.
The concept of the buddy comedy has been pretty prominent for about 30 years, but given the major success of last year’s The Hangover, it only makes sense that people will be drawing major comparisons. If you need something more current to compare it to, Hangover would work. John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, and Rob Corddry all maintain an uncanny chemistry on screen, which has us turning the question around to ask what we would do if presented with a recreational spa that could break the space/time continuum. All while drunk, of course.
Not only does the movie work on its own, but taking place in 1986, it also takes lots of its cues from some great 80’s films as well. Not to spoil anything, but there are plenty of references to The Karate Kid, Back to the Future, Say Anything, Red Dawn, and even a great explanation of the logic in Terminator. If you are a fan of 80’s films, as most comedy fans are, keep your eyes pealed for some great moments made just for you.
While the script can probably stand for itself, the cast pulls out the stops for this one as well. Cusack hasn’t really been known for his comedy as of late. Between films like Identity and 2012, it seems like Cusack has been aiming more for the serious “grown up” roles. With director Steve Pink stepping up for this film, it looks like he drew the same energy from Cusack that he did when they both did Grosse Pointe Blank together, which only makes this film that much better.
This film should also do great things for The Office’s Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, and Sex Drive and Kick-Ass’ Clark Duke. Until now, they’ve all managed to keep us laughing in smaller roles, and this film proves that they can all still do it in more of a shared leading role.
If you’re looking for this year’s break-out comedy film, look no further. Hot Tub Time Machine is a great time, that easily breaks the geek-barrier between comedy and science fiction films (one character even writes Stargate fan fiction!). If Shaun of the Dead can open up a new genre for Drunken Horror, than Hot Tub Time Machine can surely do the same for Drunken Science Fiction.
Go with a group of friends, or a loved one, because this is one movie that you’ll be referencing and pulling quotes from for years to come.
Check out what other people on Twitter are saying about Hot Tub Time Machine in a new restricted trailer below.