That's right, John Cusack, after many years and many more enjoyable movies and memorable characters, your latest cinematic outing severely disappointed me. You were the king of awesome until @theguelphgirl made me watch Hot Tub Time Machine.
Tonight, dear readers, I bore witness to one of the most appallingly atrocious creations celluloid has ever had the dishonour of capturing. This might sound like a fairly common complaint about Hot Tub Time Machine, but given some of the movies I’ve seen, this piece of criticism should sting worse than syphilis.
The movie, basically, is the story of 3 guys who wake up and realize that their lives have gone nowhere. Well, they don’t wake up literally: One of their trio has a drunken rock-out session in the garage with the car running and winds up gassing himself. Out of some deep obligation to save their friend, the crew (accompanied by John Cusack’s character’s nephew who’s there because, well, he is) head to a ski resort that was host to great times during their heyday of the 1980s.
It was with a deep sense of foreboding I continued watching watching from there on in and, in a completely unsurprising turn of events, what awaits during the next hour and 15 minutes is about as fun as a suicide. Your own.
Upon arriving and finding out that the old grey mare she ain’t what she used to be, they check in to room 420 (the worst abuse of am entertaining number since everything in The Doom Generation was 666) and commence to drinking. At some point, their hot tub magically becomes unfull of dead racoon and full of water, so they all decide to crawl in and start drinking a little heavier.
During what can best be described as Glee-esque shenanigans, someone winds up spilling a purportedly illegal Russian energy drink called Chernobylie (or something equally as ridiculous) on the controls which, naturally, converts the device from a people crockpot in to a time machine. From here on in, the only thing that hits 88mph is the sucks.
Chevy Chase puts in a couple brief appearances as the hot tub repair man (a la Don Knotts in Pleasantville, only it sucks by at least a factor of two, because it’s Chevy Chase outside of a National Lampoon flick and, well, it’s this movie) and I’m quite glad they stuck with drinking and not marijuana as they all seemed to be cardboard cutouts of clichés who would’ve burst in to flames with the introduction of a match. All of the performances are somewhat forgivable because, to be honest, I have no clue who any of these people are and a quick trip around the IMDB has confirmed that I have no interest in seeing the rest of their filmographies.
Except for you, John Cusack. You were Martin Blank. You were Rob Gordon. You were Lloyd fucking Dobler. What happened? To me, you’d always meant likeable, quirky characters that would find their way through amusing stories and, ultimately, I’d walk away feeling slightly better about the world. This film? The only thing I took away was the urge to find a rasp and do my damnedest to remove every one of the approximately 129,600 frames from my retinas.
The next argument for those who know me would probably be that, like The Hangover, I just wasn’t the target they wished to hit. To that I’d say now you’re trying some pretty weak justifications for one simple reason: In this “guys hit the town wild and free” romp, I only ever saw two pairs of bare breasts. What kind of raucous comedy is that?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to hook up the VCR and watch Ski School, because Dave Markshak is a million times the kickin-it-at-the-slopes kind of guy any of these douches will ever be.
Oh, and please stop listing this movie as being “Science Fiction”, that’s as insulting as when Chapters mixes it with fantasy.