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The only thing hot in ‘Time Machine’ is the water

Triggering a natural reaction akin to a boner among the 13- to 20-year-old male bracket lie the description: “Nobody gets carded here, and everybody gets laid.”

So it seems the writers behind “Hot Tub Time Machine” might fall into this bracket maturity-wise as its characters use that exact phrase to describe the movie’s setting.

‘Hot Tub’ follows the ridiculous plot line of three old-time buddies plus one’s teenage nephew indulging in a weekend of tomfoolery and bromance in Kodiak Valley. And what would bromance be without a little homo eroticism, hardcore boozing and a time-traveling Jacuzzi? Right, so some crazy Russian energy drink spills on something electric and sends the gang back to 1986, a time when these kind of old guys were young and hot, stuffed with blow and raging libidos.

Chevy Chase plays the magical repairman who wises the crew up to the fact that they spontaneously materialized in this leg-warmer’d retro version of the ski resort town and that they better be careful because of the butterfly effect and all that crap.

Taking no heed in Chevy the Wizard’s advice, the bro-band does it up decadently but with little negative repercussions.

The bulk of the film shows the characters as who they really are: sad, money-hungry John Cusack, Craig Robinson from The Office and some other guy … an image that just comes across as creepy when they’re getting it on with smokin’ 20-year-old Poison fans … gross. Only occasionally does director Steve Pink (“Accepted”) decide to remind you that this isn’t as creepy as your rickety uncle macking on your peers by showing the dudes’ younger selves in mirror reflections … however, I’m still not sold.

Most of the story revolves around an agenda of scoring, saucing and skiing — with the least emphasis on the last, obviously.

The film doesn’t spend much time explaining how the young nephew kid still exists because it’s totally not key. Well, it’s kind of important at one point toward the end but is executed like a rush to tie some sort of sense or coherence into the screenplay at the last minute.

‘Hot Tub’ plays out like a super-stoned expansion on Judd Apatow’s drunken napkin scribblings from when he broke his heater. It so deeply yearns to be risque and smart but only comes up overly raunchy and nauseatingly predictable with tasteless grope scenes, shotty acting (shame shame, Cusack, and not one scene standing in the rain) and projectile vomiting (in the film and perhaps in the audience, too).

Despite the half-baked plot and half-hearted performances, Pink manages the arrange pretty killer soundtrack with ditties from Scritti Politti, the English Beat and Bowie.

I’d recommend, however, spending your milk money on Scritti’s “Cupid & Pysche 85” rather than sacrificing it and some brain cells to ‘Hot Tub.’

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  • J

    Jack SmithSep 10, 2010 at 3:05 am

    when i travel in Alaska, i always use leg warmers to get more comfortable-~’