Hot Tub Time Machine

At one point, about halfway through Hot Tub Time Machine, Adam (John Cusack) exclaims, “Now we’re back in the 80s! And I hate this decade!”

If you even remotely share this sentiment, run away from this movie. Maybe grab some 3D glasses, and go check out that How to Train Your Dragon thing instead.

If, though, you think he’s nuts, and you fondly remember the 80s in all their neon, synth-pop, hair metal glory, you will not have a better 90 minutes in a movie theater this spring.

Hot Tub Time Machine is all-out hilarious, all-out crude, and all-out fun.

Adam and his two long-lost high school buddies, Lou (Rob Corddry) and Nick (Craig Robinson), join Adam’s nephew Jacob in a hot tub (long story), which goes haywire and throws them back in time to 1986. (To each other they look normal, but to everyone else, they’ve taken on the appearance of their younger selves– except the then-unborn Jacob, who looks the same but is in perpetual danger of disappearing from existence, a la Back to the Future.)

With Chevy Chase (p.s. It’s so good to see him finally getting his career back– between Chuck, Community, and now this) as their guide through the space-time continuum, the four guys have to safely navigate the waters of acid-washed jeans and leg warmers and get back to 2010 without messing anything up.

…which means Lou needs to get his butt kicked by a Ski Patrol bully again. Adam needs to get jabbed with a plastic fork in the eyebrow again. And Nick needs to get his Kid-n-Play self on stage for that rendition of “Jesse’s Girl” again.

John Morris and Sean Anders (along with Josh Heald) must have had a ball putting this script together. And Steve Pink, directing only his second feature film, keeps the comedy coming at a breakneck pace.

There’s cocaine, booze, groupies, and so many more lewd and lascivious things that you can’t even begin to keep track of them all. The music is, of course, vintage 80s, from Mötley Crüe to Cutting Crew (yeah, remember them?), and then you toss in Crispin Glover (ol’ George McFly himself) as a star-crossed bellhop, and you have yourself a riotous good time.

Cusack is his usual awesome self, Corddry lets it all hang out (and I mean all), with side-splitting results, and Robinson steals more than a handful of scenes with the same comic timing he brings to his (woefully underused) role on The Office.

Yes, it’s goofy, and yes, some of it is what higher-brow folk would actually call stupid, but everything comes together, and Hot Tub works, because we know it’s ridiculous, the actors know it, and the crew knows it, too.

Hot Tub Time Machine is way over-the-top and way raunchy, and it’s easily the most fun I’ve had at the movies so far this year.

Even better, it’s one of those movies that I’ll be pulling out on DVD on a regular basis.

P.S. Keep your eye out for a cameo by William Zabka (yes, Johnny ‘Sweep the Leg’ Lawrence from The Karate Kid) as the guy who makes the sports bet with Lou.

4/5 stars