By Alex Pearl ’10
“Hot Tub Time Machine” is, at its core, a silly, sophomoric romp that shouldn’t be too closely examined.
The movie tells the tale of four friends – three 40-year-old bosom buddies and a 20-year-old nephew of one of the characters – who are sent back to the 80s after an energy drink is spilled on a unique temperature-control device in their hotel room’s hot tub.
The story is more about a zany adventure shared by three characters who want to correct all the mistakes that they made in the past and one character – the kid – who just wants to go back home. Thrown into the mix are the characters’ past girlfriends, and a mysterious time machine repairman who doesn’t get enough screen time to really seem significant.
For those who enjoy a good sci-fi plot, “Hot Tub Time Machine” will melt out your eyeballs in frustration.
The movie plays with predestination (you can’t change the past due to destiny), timeline restructuring (changing one small thing will affect the entire course of history) and an aspect of the grandfather paradox (if someone in the past dies or fails to conceive, their progeny in the future will no longer exist). Most of this is explained using a haphazard recounting of Ian Malcolm’s lesson on chaos theory in Jurassic Park.
The main lesson of “Hot Tub Time Machine”: Do not go in to the theatre expecting a well-developed plot.
Of course, the movie is a comedy, so this may be of no consequence. For the faint of heart, the raunchy bits sprinkled throughout the movie including projectile vomit on a squirrel, swearing, and eyeball-stabbing may turn one away, but anyone entering an R-rated movie should be expected to deal with it.
The humor is well-suited to those who enjoy the earlier installments of the “Scary Movie” movies, as the crazy, surreal, racy jokes in “Hot Tub Time Machine” share similarities with the series back when it still had its flair.
The movie cashes in most of its jokes with characters that are too stupid for reality, but that’s not exactly a bad thing when you factor in a ski patrol that thinks the main characters are actually communist spies, and the energy drink that sent them back in time is actually a volatile explosive.
Overall, “Hot Tub Time Machine” is an enjoyable experience, but the movie seems like par for the course as far as comedies go.
Though silly and humorous, the movie lacks memorable moments on the whole and just seems to fill the role as “something fun to do on the weekend.”
Overall rating: 8.5/10