Some movies are remembered among names like The Ten Commandments, while others are remembered among war crimes such as Manos: The Hands of Fate. I’m happy to report that Hot Tub Time Machine fell somewhere between those two.
When I first heard the title months ago, while looking for upcoming movies with Chevy Chase (more on him later, and YES, I just admitted to that), I figured it wouldn’t be a time-travel comedy, but a drama about a bunch of guys lamenting their lost youth. I have never been happier to be wrong.
HTTM features a solid lead cast. Most notable is John Cusack, who skews somewhere between his performance in Better Off Dead and Grosse Point Blank, followed by Rob Corddry, who absolutely steals every scene he’s in. Rounding out the cast is Craig Robinson, most notably of The Office, and newcomer Clark Duke. The supporting cast is no less disappointing, featuring the legendary Chevy Chase, Crispin Glover ([i]Back to the Future[/i]’s George McFly, for those of you who don’t remember, who also, in my opinion has the best running gag in HTTM), and in a cameo I unfortunately missed, William Zabka (the bully from [i]The Karate Kid[/i]).
You’d expect a movie like this to be ridiculous, and little more than a series of poorly stung-together gags. Well, it delivers on the ridiculous (in a good way), but also actually has a decent story to back it up. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s equal parts Harold and Kumar, any John Cusack movie from the 1980s, Frequency, and Back to the Future. I think the filmmakers could have gotten away with leaving out some of the toilet humor, because the rest of it really was solid enough.
Chevy Chase as the all-knowing-but-not-telling-anything zen Buddhist-type unexplained mystical time travel guru and hot tub repairman equals classic comic gold.
You have to see it to enjoy it. Bonus points for the soundtrack. Motley Crue hasn’t sounded this good in years. If you’ve ever wondered what would hapen if you gave time travel technology to four of the most irresponsible people in the world, I encourage you to watch and find out.