Travel back in time to 1986… In a Hot Tub

1986 was a good year for me – the year of my first ski trip. We still have my parents one-piece “fagbags” from that era, and the garage loft back home is something of a crypt for out-dated kit that we needed to keep for some reason. Well I think I’ve stumbled across the reason – pretty soon  folk will be throwing retro apres-ski parties inspired by Hot Tub Time Machine

When I first heard the name of this movie I wasn’t sure what to expect – maybe a dodgy late nighter on moviesformen (it does exist – a good friend who’s a media buyer uses it for her clients – check out your sky+ listings just beyond FilmFour+1), but it actually turned out to be a decent watch. There were plenty of laughs – what more do you really want from a comedy?

John Cusack was good as always – to the point that this is a movie with him in it, rather than being a John Cusack flick – even if the Director (Steve Pink) did pen a number of Cusack films. The rest of the cast ensemble – which includes a grey-haired Chevy Chase, and Clark Duke (who you’ll recognise from several recent outings in this genre) – put in decent performances too.

A few notable scenes (that I will avoid spoiling here) saw excellent references – “what’s an email?” – and other surprises that you’re bound to enjoy.  For example, from very early on you’ll wonder if and when the bellman will lose an arm, or if the mayhem will change the path of time.

However, for a film that spends much of it’s duration in the 1980s the eighties references weren’t totally stupid or overflowing, and I quite enjoyed was how they played off the clichés that are usually associated with time travel. For me this was refreshing, as I admit I half expected a film that thought it was much funnier than it actually is – this was a genuinely amusing viewing that I enjoyed.

Hot Tub Time Machine should be top of your list if you just want to have a fun night out and laugh quite a lot of the time you’re in the theatre. You may well see reviews in the likes of the metro saying this is “The Hangover” of 2010 and in my view that wouldn’t be too far off the mark. I think it’ll get an even bigger following when it hits DVD and I for one look forward to an early spin-off party.


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