Yeah – I saw it.

After their friend Lou (Rob Corddry) nearly kills himself, his friends Nick (Craig Robinson) and Adam (John Cusdack) decide to take him back to the scene of some of their wildest teenage times, Kodiak Valley. Just for kicks, Adam’s nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) comes along. When they arrive in their run-down inn, and get to their suite – they decide a dip in the hot tub would make for a great start to a guys’ weekend.

The next morning, after seemingly much debauchery, they wake up to discover that they are back in 1986. They see each other as adults, everyone else sees the 1986 versions of them.

You didn’t really think I was going to waste any more words on the plot of this film, did you? You’re lucky this part of my review didn’t say “For plot summary, read film title”

Go figure – I can write endless posts about the existentialism of THE LAST STATION, or the mis-firing meta of NINE…but when it comes to something as lowbrow as HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, I don’t know where to begin. I can say that it just missed my low expectations. That’s not to say that I was bored; I wasn’t. That’s also not to say that I didn’y laugh out loud more than a few times; I did, but that doesn’t take much. And truthfully, as a wink at comedies of the 1980’s, the movie works.

But when I think about it in comparison to many of the other comedies we’ve been given in recent years, I find that it doesn’t measure up. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good cocksucking joke as much as the next guy, matter of fact i think the problem with the movie was that they didn’t go far enough down the shock value path.

The film starts us out with some pitch black humour, and mixes it nicely with some 80’s movies touchstones…but rather than build on those principles, it becomes an ugly cousin to BACK TO THE FUTURE. Speaking of everyone’s favorite film about a time-travelling DeLorean, I must readily admit that the running joke involving Crispin Glover (George McFly if you must know) did have me laughing every time it came up.

Of all the four leads, Rob Corddry seems to having the most fun, but it’s hard not to have fun when you’re essentially playing an unwitting douche.Right behind him is Craig Robinson, who gets to self-loathingly say the film’s title out loud. Robinson, has a delivery that lands somewhere between deadpan and badass. Unfortunately, John Cusack sticks out, since he doesn’t really seem to know what he’s doing in this movie (lose a lot of money in the market crash John?).

It’s entirely possible that I’m being a bit hard on this movie. After all, with a name like HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, how existential a comedy should I have expected? In the interest of fairness, let me leave it at this – the movie is good for a laugh or two, but instantly forgettable.

Matineescore: ★ ★ out of ★ ★ ★ ★
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