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Hot Tub Time Machine Movie Review Hub

Updated on January 31, 2013

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3 Stars

Directed by Steve Pink and starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke, this movie was predictably mediocre at best. I enjoy John Cusack in most of his films and he really didn't disappoint me in this one. What did was the plot.

Basically there are 3 middle aged friends who are at a standstill in their lives and decide to go on a trip to a Skiing Resort that they stayed at when they were younger. This was in an attempt to re-live the "good ole' days".

Adam (Cusack) was recently dumped by his girlfriend, Nick (Robinson) is "whipped" by his cheating and controlling wife, Lou the "Violator " (Corddry) is that guy who is obnoxious and never seems to grow up. To add to the mix, Adam's nephew Jacob (Duke) is an early twenties, overweight, unemployed video geek living in his Uncle's basement. He tags along for the road trip to Kodiak Valley (aka "K-Val").

Once they arrive, the group checks into the same hotel room that they stayed in all those years before; room number "420"-an obvious reference to marijuana. They are greeted by a recurring character throughout the whole movie, the Bell Hop, who has only one arm. We'll hear more about him later. Once in the room they start drinking and reminiscing about the past when they were cool and their lives were happy and care free. The next thing they do is to check out the hot tub and they find it empty, dirty, and has a dead animal in it.

As they are sitting in the room drinking and talking, the French Doors to the back deck magically open and the hot tub is clean and bubbling. They decide to go in. More drinking takes place, a little bit of pot smoking and then a Russian Energy Drink called, "Chernobely ", is spilled on the electronics of the hot tub. Hallucinations take place and they all eventually pass out, only to wake up confused in the hot tub. Needless to say, Michael J. Fox would not be impressed!

They decide to go skiing and then they have a crash. That's when they realize that every on the slopes is dressed in 1980's retro. (Anyone over 30 know what I am talking about!) They go to the ski lounge and are watching the TV and nostalgic commercials appear: remember "Where's The Beef" ? How about "Miami Vice" ?

Bottom Line

Once they guys see themselves in the mirror and realize that they too are transformed into the past, they decide that they must relive every moment the same way that they did in 1986. Chevy Chase is a repairman that says he can fix the hot tub and only Jacob seems to be able to see him. Mind you, Jacob is not yet alive since this took place before he was born. He meets his mother who, back then, was promiscuous. The one-armed guy with 2 arms reappears through out the movie and suffers a few near arm-loss situations. He has a run-in with a chain saw, an elevator accident, but he always seems to keep his arm although it seems like he is about to loose it.

Adam goes to a "Poison" concert with the girl he has to break up with. He meets a girl named April at the concert who was not in his past. The girl he is supposed to break up with breaks up with him instead, and stabs him in the face with a plastic fork, which did happen in the past. He becomes depressed and goes back to the room where he drinks heavily, smokes pot and take hallucinogenic mushrooms while writing break-up poetry.

At this point, the guys decide to just do whatever they feel like doing and not worrying about repeating the past. The repairman shows up here and there but always seems to disappear before fixing the hot tub. Jacob's image "flickers" throughout the movie, presumably because he doesn't really exist, which really ruins the plot in itself; what's the point?

At the climax of the movie, they all realize that their life's are not what they wanted and that they will change them once they get back into real time. Nick who was a shy but aspiring singer in his younger years, decides to give it another shot. He sings at the talent show and this time he doesn't choke up. In fact, he gets the party started while perfecting "Jessie's Girl" and then gives the crowd a treat; he sings a Black Eyed Peas song, "Let's Get It Started" , twenty something years before they will hear it from the original group. It's a big hit.

The guys realize that it was the energy drink, "Chernobley" that was spilled and caused the hot tub to malfunction and they go after the bully that took it from them. Lou, who gets beat up through out the movie, is forced to fight him for a second time. In the end, he wins and gets the drink back. Jacob walks in on Lou and his mother "doing it" and realizes that Lou is his father.

The one armed guy with 2 arms finally looses his arm in a truck accident. The guys run back to the hot tub and spill the energy drink on the electronics. Lou stays behind and they warp back to the present, which is different than it was in the beginning. Come to find out, Lou used his knowledge of the future and makes himself rich. He founds an Internet company aptly named, "LOOGLE " and founds a band named "Motley Lou ". Get it?

In the end Adam gets April. The movie was predictable at best, but did have some funny parts here and there. I enjoyed the guys watching the Bell Boy and waiting to find out how he looses his arm. They make us wait until the end for that one. Overall, it was graphic, predictable and you kind of ask yourself why you wanted to watch it in the first place. I wanted to see it because it starred John Cusack and I saw a lot of commercials that tempted me. I wouldn't watch this again but I guess it was worth seeing once just so I could write a review. Hope you enjoyed!



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    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I agree with your comment Dan. Thanks for stopping by!


    • dan-1 profile image

      dan-1 6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      I agree the bellhop situation added some nice dramatic effect, and the thing at the end with Lou was funny but expected. I watched it for the same reason. I like Cousak and someone said it was funny. Great review!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thanks for the comment GetSmart!


    • GetSmart profile image

      GetSmart 6 years ago

      This was a pretty ridiculous movie, but I did find myself laughing quite a bit. Great review!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      amymarie, thanks for the comment! Cusack is a great actor. If he wasn't in this movie I don't think they would have made any money at all! I appreciate you reading and commenting! Thanks!


    • amymarie_5 profile image

      amymarie_5 6 years ago from Chicago IL

      Great review! I usually don't care much for these types of comedies but I found myself cracking up a few times. I'm also a huge John Cusak fan and really liked him in this movie.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thanks for the vote, The Jet!


    • The Jet profile image

      The Jet 6 years ago from The Bay

      That was a cool review. Voted up.

    • optimus grimlock profile image

      optimus grimlock 6 years ago

      that was a funny movie!!