You’d think it would be difficult to make a 90 minute movie completely devoid of any redeemable qualities, but the creators of Hot Tub Time Machine might just have succeeded. However, redemption doesn’t necessarily correlate with humor, and there are some funny moments to be found throughout the base cesspool of vulgarities and crude jokes that make up most of the film. A person puking on squirrels probably isn’t funny to everyone.
Adam (John Cusack) and his best friends Nick (Craig Robinson) and Lou (Rob Corddry) have seen better days. Adam’s girlfriend just left him and took all of his stuff, Nick takes care of canine rectal problems, and Lou is a wild alcoholic who just got divorced. After Lou almost kills himself in what appears to be a suicide attempt, Adam and Nick decide to take him to Kodiak Valley for the weekend, a vacation spot the three friends used to frequent in their younger days. Bringing Adam’s nephew Jacob (Clark Duke, essentially a chubbier Michael Cera) with them to the ski resort, the gang soon discovers their hangout hasn’t held up well over time – especially the hot tub outside their regular room that now houses rotting vermin. When a drunken night at the tub magically transports them back in time to 1986, the group realizes they must reenact exactly what happened to them in the past or face the consequences of a badly altered future.
Right about now, Chevy Chase is probably searching for a hot tub time machine so that he can go back in time and remove himself from this film. The extreme crassness is very much unlike the kind of movie Chase would pick for a cameo. It’s almost a shame, too, that Cusack would resort to such exhaustingly low-brow material. Hot Tub Time Machine, however, is spot on for comedian Rob Corddry, who snags the majority of the raunchiness and foul language for his largely distasteful character. But these kinds of films have their place among young adult audiences, and are sure to impress the easily impressed.
Immature doesn’t even begin to describe a comedy this ridiculously vile. Mixing ideas from Terminator, The Butterfly Effect, Back to the Future, Stargate, Red Dawn, Wild Hogs, American Pie and more, it tries to up the ante on gross-out gags, but instead of creating memorably unrefined jokes, it only succeeds at provoking uneasy laughter. It isn’t overboard enough to be unique, but just dirty enough to be offensive. Hot Tub Time Machine is one of those generic gross-out comedies that continue to plague theaters every few months and simply isn’t concerned with a lasting effect. The more unexpected bodily fluids, the merrier. At least it finally joins the ranks with “Scream Queen Hot Tub Party” to add another title with the words “Hot Tub” to the annals of film.
– The Massie Twins (GoneWithTheTwins.com)