Steve Pink’s Hot Tub Time Machine is a silly concept anchored in place only by people’s memories of a time when John Cusack was palatable. Cusack — playing the usual Cusack role — is Adam, a lonely, recently separated business-type who lives in an empty house with his nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), a dorky shut-in who spends his free-time on the Internet. It’s not until an apparent suicide attempt by his one-time best friend Lou (Rob Corddry) that Adam’s stuck reluctantly taking a trip with him, Jacob, and his other longtime friend Nick (Craig Robinson) to a rundown ski town that used to be their old haunt in the ’80s where they encounter the time machine of the title. The film might work if there had been a hint of absurdity to it all beyond the basic premise. Instead, there’s an onslaught of R-rated misadventures embodied as sex jokes and bodily function humor. Sure it’s gross, but if you’ve seen one vomit joke, you’ve seen ‘em all. On top of this, the ’80s setting is never used for much more than to make fun of leg warmers and Jheri curls. A running gag involving various ways Crispin Glover might lose an arm is pretty good, while Nick —in 1986 — calling his wife, who at this point is a nine-year-old, and confronting her about future infidelities is funny. But beyond this, there’s never more than a chuckle or two to be had unless you’re the type that has a Pavlovian response to vomit covered squirrels.
Director: Steve Pink
Writer: Josh Heald
Producer: Matt Moore and John Morris
Cast: John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Crispin Glover, Lizzy Caplan, Chevy Chase, Sebastian Stan, Lyndsy Fonseca and Collette Wolfe