Hot Tube Time Machine: A Very Poor Mans The Hangover

27 Mar

Hilariously stupid, but it’s okay because they know it. At no point it Hot Tube Time Machine…what is the word I’m looking for: good. However, John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Graig Robinson and Clark Duke embrace this movie for what it is: Hangover light.

The story, not that it matters at all, follows three best friends who have grown apart over the years and now lead miserable lives. When Lou (Rob Corddry) tries to kill himself his old friends Adam (John Cusack) and Nick (Graig Robinson) take him to Kodiak Valley to relive their glory days. And they bring along Adam’s live-in nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke), because they needed a nerdy fourth party outsider as the straight man for the group to be ridiculous around.

After a night of drunkenness in their mountain resort hot tub they wind up in 1986, back where it all went wrong with a chance to fix their mistakes and lead a better life. Except the last part, and their mistakes are not as much mistakes as personality failings. This provides John Cusack the chance to relive his glory days in High Fidelity, as he debates how to breakup with his 1986′ ex-girlfriend, again, and how selfish he was/is and yadda yadda yadda.

Meanwhile, Nick is confronting his lost dream of being a musician, Jacob is trying to track down the mysterious hot tube mechanic (Chevy Chase–oh how the mighty have fallen) and Lou is dealing with an old vendetta with the ski patrol. At first the gang believes that they have to relive the past exactly or they will change the future, but then that rule is abandoned for no real reason what so ever; but it doesn’t matter because everyone is wearing hot pink and doesn’t know about the internet.

Lou and Nick decide to use their knowledge of the future to their advantage. Lou by gambling and Nick by performing songs that haven’t been written yet. Adam descends deeper into High Fidelity when he meets a funny quirky girl (Lizzy Caplan), whose making him confront his past daemons. Meanwhile we find out Jacob doesn’t know who is father is, but by coincidence he believes that he was born exactly 9 months from that very day, not that they ever say what day or month it actually is.

As the “plot” unfolds everyone’s life is made better by how they were able to overcome their own personal failings and grow as an individual, and how Lou uses his knowledge of the past to manipulate the future. It all ends quite predictably, because they are best friends again.

It is crude, rude and crosses all the lines without any real point, message or general meaning; but it doesn’t matter because it’s funny.  I mean it’s not quotable funny like Old School, Wedding Crashers, or The Hangover, but it delivers exactly what it promises, and doesn’t try to be more than a frat boy comedy. It brings the funny. Is it a $10 movie ticket funny? Probably not. But luckily I saw it for free.

Directed by Steve Pink. Written by Josh Heald, Sean Anders and John Morris. Starring:John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Graig Robbinson, Clark Duke, Crispin Glover, Lizzy Caplan and Chevy Chase.


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