Hot Tub Time Machine hit theaters today and if you’ve seen the trailers or clips, then you know that this film is a cheesy-flash-back to the 80′s vioa hot-tub time travel — will it be ridiculously amazing or a complete dud? Well, the film was directed by Steve Pink and stars an expert comedic cast including Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, John Cusack, and Rob Corddry. Pink has been responsible for a number of great comedies before, such comedies as High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank. So did he, and his crew, do their best in this 80s piece? Lets take a look at what a variety of critics have to say…
Did the Acting Work?
- [John] Cusack’s dragged-in romance with Lizzy Caplan doesn’t help a movie in which the gross-out joke trumps the jones to go deeper. [Rolling Stone]
- Corddry, who got his snarky start on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and has since made the slightly insane guy something of a specialty (see “Old School” or “Blades of Glory”), reaches a new high here, and not just because of the coke and weed lying around. Robinson brings the humor he has honed as Dunder-Mifflin’s blue-collar sarcastic sage at “The Office,” and, speaking of which, Duke could be Rainn Wilson’s weird younger brother, he has the same off-center charm. [LA Times]
- Rob Corddry, for example, deserves to immediately get offered every script in town based on the work he does here. Corddry plays Lou, an unrepentent jerk who maybe tries to kill himself at the start of the film. It’s his movie, honestly, even though there’s an ensemble cast built around him, and it’s phenomenal work. [Hit Fix]
- Listen, I really did enjoy “Hot Tub Time Machine,” mostly for the game performances of its central trio of guys and a script (by John Heald, Sean Anders and John Morris) that’s surprisingly sharp and funny, given the shamelessly calculated nature of the entire project. But I hasten to add that, like Adam (John Cusack), Nick (Craig Robinson) and Lou (Rob Corddry) — 40ish losers who are transported by the eponymous device back to a legendary ski-resort par-tay weekend in 1986 — you may regret it all in the morning. [Salon]
- As a timeless gift, Back to the Future’s inimitable, unclassifiable Crispin Glover plays a hotel bellhop whose right arm is as crucial to the story as Doc Brown’s DeLorean is to Future. [Entertainment Weekly]
Bottom Line: Is it funny?
- The raunchy, guy-centric comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine” makes a vertiginously high-concept bid to be this year’s version of “The Hangover” and darned if it doesn’t succeed. [Washington Post]
- In the grand tradition of the-name-says-it-all movies comes “Hot Tub Time Machine,” and the fact that this guys-gone-wild comedy is actually pretty damn funny - in an admittedly dumb-funny way - is as much a surprise as the time/space twist of its title. [New York Daily News]
- Whatever comic possibilities this situation held, however, get buried in an avalanche of sorry potty-humor gags and a frantic, let’s-try-anything-for-a-laugh jokes. [Hollywood Reporter]
- A fully committed spoof of the high concept, factory-farmed comedies of the 80s, Hot Tub goes under some pretty deep cover, glossing over big plot and pacing bumps with its proudly cruddy, in-joke attitude. [Movieline]
Script (and direction):
- But thanks to a pretty good script and crisp directing by way of Steve Pink — who collaborated with Cusack on the terrific “High Fidelity” and “Grosse Pointe Blank” — the whole series of shambolic set pieces somehow works, between the cringe-worthy sight gags (ah, the joys of a catheter run amok!) and the ’80s nostalgia (ah, the joys of leg warmers, Ronald Reagan, hair bands and mobile phones the size of loaves of bread!). [Washington Post]
- Though they will try one’s patience, the writers should probably be forgiven for dropping what may be a record number of F-bombs, for coming up with lines like . . . oh, sorry, we can’t print that here. [LA Times]
- Pink is a far better writer than he is a helmer. He penned the screenplays for two of Cusack’s better films, High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank, but his slim directorial output includes the laugh-free Accepted. [The Star]
Overall, sounds like if you like ridiculous comedies, this is the one for you (may I suggest NOT being sober for the full viewing experience?)
Will you be watching Hot Tub Time Machine this weekend?