Taking a lead from aging Rock Stars going back to the time that made them famous, John Cusack left his action and romance leads behind and went back to his roots to star in slapdash 80’s time-travel comedy ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’.
The concept? They don’t come much higher than this! A night of male bonding at a ski resort involving a nuclear-powered Russian energy drink and a mysterious incident in an outdoor hot tub sent Adam (Cusack) his two friends, and his teenage nephew on a whirlwind back to the 80’s – the era of leg-warmers and shoulder pads. The only way back to the twenty-first century is to relive the craziest night of their teenage lives and go through the same traumatic events they did back in the 80’s, but do they dare change the course of history? They start to realise how much better their present lives would be if things had happened differently.
The film takes many of the concepts from other films such as ‘Back to the Future’ with the idea of 80’s time travel and trying not to screw up the space-time continuum by changing events that occur throughout. Anything else we’ve seen before? Seeing old friends and enemies? Check. Finding out something embarrassing about a loved one? Check. Making sure romances stay the same? Check. It has also been said that the concept is very much like 2009’s ‘The Hangover’ with the idea of a group of delirious guys getting up to no good. But where ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ scores over ‘The Hangover is the script which is quite the opposite replacing brash overconfidence with a looser, more playful sense of humour.
Although the film may not be seen as a classic in decades to come, it definitely works for a laid back Saturday night film and takeaway with the charm and chemistry of the cast making up for the faults in terms of the plot and is definitely worth a look into for all those true children of the 80’s who will derive some nostalgic satisfaction from the film. It isn’t a masterpiece, but there’s a laid back crowd pleaser lurking somewhere in there!