Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #186 Hot Tub Time Machine

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2011 at 3:23 AM

Movie #186 Hot Tub Time Machine

(2010, US, d. Steve Pink)

Steve Pink’s Hot Tub Time Machine is a rather smart exercise at the ridiculous and the raunchy. For me, the film is a lot smarter than it comes off to be. Rather than focusing on the BS plot or mechanics or narrative structure, the writers here have purposively disregarded everything and instead just try to come up with gag after gag – a decision that wasn’t made in last week’s comedy Bridesmaids. And though the characters are a little one-dimensional and their arcs are conventional, it’s the stupid crap they say here that sets them apart. Dumb and proud of it, Hot Tub Time Machine is actually quite an enjoyable film, something I wouldn’t say of many recent comedies. The biggest problem with the film, though, is the casting. Pink’s film could easily have been the next Hangover – the only problem is that everyone in it isn’t really that funny. Even Craig Robinson (Darrell from The Office), who has his moments, is just OK. Rob Corddry is your typical raunchy idiot, but I would have much preferred the character to be played by someone less conspicuous and self-aware about it – perhaps a Todd Packer (another Office reference). I didn’t care about the kid, and John Cusack is probably the worst person to put in this movie. He’s supposed to be the lovable, grounded lead character – not the quiet, pathetic person he came off as. If Pink were going for that, he should have just cast Matthew Perry for another mystical and magical learning adventure through time and space. It’s 17 Again and again. And let’s give the award for worst guest performance to Chevy Chase. I cringed every time the Community funny-man spoke. In fact, the only person in the film who stood out among the mediocrity is the long forgotten Crispin Glover, who gives a great turn as an armless bellhop. But apart from all this, Time Machine does work in the laughs. Though nothing compared to The Hangover or anything Apatow puts out these days, Time Machine, ironically enough, will be soon be forgotten, but if you’re in the mood, isn’t a terrible pick.

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