Directed by: Steve Pink
Premise: Three middle-aged men and a younger friend accidentally time travel back to the 1980s and relive a defining weekend of their youth.
What Works: Hot Tub Time Machine is a mash up of Back to the Future and The Hangover and the film mostly works, provided the viewer does not think too hard about the premise. The film is partially a love letter to the 1980s and the art direction and costuming have fun with the time period, even though they play fast and loose with the fashions and cultural references of the specific year in which the movie takes place. This is a very funny comedy and even if not all the gags insight belly laughs, the laughs do keep coming at a steady pace.
What Doesn’t: Throughout the story, Hot Tub Time Machine treads a very delicate line between being clever and being stupid. Although the film mostly walks that line, it flies apart in the climax.
Bottom Line: Hot Tub Time Machine is, as the title implies, dumb but not stupid, and viewers should have no illusions about what the film is. But it’s also an enjoyable comedy that’s a lot of fun.
Episode: #283 (April 11, 2010)