EXPECTATIONS: I don't care if he ever wins an Oscar or if he's starring in the worst scummy films of all time; John Cusack is star. I could watch him in anything, so seeing as this is a comedy film that is mostly set in the 1980s, I hope that Cusack is returning to his element. The preview made me laugh a fair bit, so I'm hopeful for this one.
REALITY: I should preface this review by saying that the preceding events had me in a pretty good mood already. The West Australian newspaper has a weekly music zine insert called The Wire. To celebrate the magazine's first birthday, tickets were given away in a competition to come to the preview screening of Hot Tub Time Machine, dressed up in '80s chic. The night began when a band made up of musicians from various Perth bands played '80s tunes and we danced around with tons of balloons everywhere. While the band played, an artist painted/stitched a great looking picture of a glam era David Bowie. Then there were competitions for best costumes, bla, bla. My wife and I rose to the 1980s occasion:
Then, after all of these festivities, the movie began.
Hot Tub Time Machine is a simple, formulaic movie that is extremely reminiscent of a lot of 1980s comedies, while at the same time keeping that mean-ish sarcastic tone that a lot of '00s comedies have.
The storyline is about friendship, and how three friends and a younger relative get inadvertently thrown back to 1986 when they all take a hot tub together. They realise what is important in life, bla, bla, bla. There are very little surprises here (except for one cast member which I will not spoil for you) but the important thing is that the characters are pretty likable and the movie is consistently laugh out loud funny. It's not innovative in any way, but it's not trying to be; it's just a solid comedy film and there hasn't really been a solid straight forward comedy film in a really long time, so it was awesome to see one.