I was a child of the 80′s. I can’t escape that particular information about my past, but unlike some of those of my generation I wholeheartedly embrace the 80′s both the good and the bad and the oh-so-awful. This is why after watching Hot Tub Time Machine (directed by Steve Pink…quite an 80′s name if there ever was one) I have a much deeper appreciation for the things I went through growing up as a teen during the mid-80′s. Rap was just starting to get real popular. Hairstyles, fashion and pop culture was dictated by the emerging juggernaut that was MTV (when they actually played music videos). This raunchy (and it is pretty raunchy) comedy starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke definitely spoke to my inner 80′s teen self.
The film’s premise could’ve been taken straight out of any 80′s direct-to-video knock-off of Back to the Future meets Porky’s. I mean the title itself pretty much explains the premise of the film. A literal hot tub acts as a time machine which whisks the four actors mentioned above to 1986 where they get to re-live a specific night they all spent together in 1986 (well, except Duke’s character who wasn’t born yet). Talk about space-time continuum and butterfly effect gets bandied about, but in the end the whole film was just trying to insert as much 80′s pop culture references as possible within 90 and plus minutes.
The film definitely got the 80′s vibe by liberally putting in boobs and naked chicks. 80′s icons Chevy Chase, Crispin Glover and William Zabka make appearances and John Hughes moments get replicated. I mean shot literally like it was Sixteen Candles all over again. The performances by everyone involved was great and it seemed like everyone were enjoying themselves. Craig Robinson as Nick had me laughing out loud every time he said something.
One thing good I can say about Hot Tub Time Machine that encompasses everything good about it is that it played like the anti-Judd Apatow comedy. While Apatow laughers I enjoy they’ve gotten to the point that everyone tries to make their comedies sound like his. Plus, any comedy that can have Sixteen Candles and Red Dawn references in the same 30-minute span has to be awesome….Oh yeah, it also used Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home” power ballad over and over.