Monday, February 22, 2010

Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

Hilarious, if somewhat obvious comedy about 3 40ish guys, and one of their nephews, as they travel back in time to their mid-80's prime via, you guessed it, a Hot Tub Time Machine. My expectation was that the 80's setting would be the primary source of humor, given the obvious anachronisms and culture shifts since then, but the 80's jokes are mostly comprised of time-appropriate references and obvious fashion jokes. John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke play the 4 leads, and their interplay ends up being the draw of the film, more so than the absurdity of the plot and situations. Corddry, in particular, really surprised me with his tragi-comic performance as the guy who really felt at home in the '80s, and was never able to live up to his hedonist heights as a teenager. I can already tell Clark Duke will be pigeonholed as the next Jonah Hill, due to his hipster frame (both body and specs hehe), but I find his humor much more interesting and realistic; he does not seem like he's trying too hard to make us laugh, but at the same time, understands the humor of his character and demeanor and utilizes it well. Craig Robinson and Cusack are dependably g, but I have rarely been disappointed, so I was not surprised. Collette Wolfe, of The Foot Fist Way and Observe and Report, deserves a mention for her sexed-up 80s blonde, who happens to be the young version of Clark Duke's mom, much to his chagrin.

When I heard that John Cusack was going to star in a '80s nostalgia piece involving a ski resort, I had hoped for a more provocative, more retrospective look at the differences between then and today; what would Lane Meyer be like 20 years later? But the fish-out-of-water plot remains too derivative and obvious to allow for any insight to seep through. What we do get are excellently devised gags and undeniably electric chemistry that make the energy and hilarity of the film more than satisfactory. I had just hoped for a script with a little more balls and a little less corniness and contrivance than this, but I can settle for one where the friends interrupt one of their own mid-coitus, then allow him to finish to maintain the space-time continuum.

Highly Recommended for fans of the cast, goofy studio comedies, and '80s movies a la Better Off Dead. This was funnier than I expected, but not as ingenius as that first teaser made it seem...which I'll embed, just because it alone had me completely jonesed for this movie.

The Hot Tub Time Machine - Red Band Trailer
Uploaded by ThePlaylist. - Watch feature films and entire TV shows.

No comments:

Post a Comment