Saturday, March 27, 2010
Nog Takes a Dip in the Hot Tub Time Machine!
"It turns out we had a lot in common. We both love titties and Motley Crue." If you find lines such as that amusing (guilty!), then you'll get a few laughs out of Hot Tub Time Machine. But the film as a whole doesn't work as well as it could have. I'd have preferred something in the vein of Better off Dead and One Crazy Summer, those John Cusack/Savage Steve Holland 80's flicks that don't shy away from absurd and surreal humor (the more recent Wet Hot American Summer channels that tone pretty well, garnering it a deserved cult following). There's a bit of such humor here, but mainly the film alternates between the ultra-crudity of recent "bromances" and a less abrasive, more nostalgic tone that hearkens back to 80's teen-sex comedies and of course time-travel flicks such as (primarily) Back to the Future. The tones can be jarring, with the latter, gentler tone working much better than the former. But when the film works, it works pretty well. An inspired recurring gag involving a one-armed Crispin Glover (who many viewers of course know primarily as BTTF's father McFly) is nearly worth the price of admission in its own right. It made me laugh every time (until the punch line arrives as an inevitable let-down, since the gag itself involves viewer anticipation).