A film about four guys who travel from present day to 1986 via a ski lodge hot tub (jacuzzi) is clearly not meant to be taken too seriously. It’s a wacky idea and the humour in the film is meant to be taken for what it is: broad, crass and dumb. With John Cusack (2012), Craig Robinson (Zack and Miri Make a Porno), Rob Corddry (Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay) and Clark Duke (Kick-Ass) playing the reluctant time travellers trying to get back to the future, Hot Tub Time Machine does seem promising. Unfortunately star power and a quirky premise alone are not enough to sustain a feature length comedy when too many of the gags are inadequately developed.
Hot Tub Time Machine does have some decent laughs and it out does The Wedding Singer with its plethora of 1980s references. However, too many moments in Hot Tub Time Machine go nowhere and the film isn’t funny enough to justify its randomness. Furthermore, the over reliance on homophobic and chauvinistic humour is extremely disappointing. The characters in the film may be stuck in the past but the humour doesn’t have to be.
Originally appeared in The Big Issue, No. 353, 2010