Aah . . . July 4th weekend–plenty of time off work; not a lot to do; and plenty of TV time available since the World Cup is winding down. I got home Saturday afternoon and eagerly purchased Hot Tub Time Machine from pay-per-view service. I had heard that it wasn’t that great, but I had to see for myself. Having been in high school in 1986, and being a fan of John Cusack and Craig Robinson . . . I couldn’t miss it.
However, I now kind of wish I had my $4.99 back. The movie wasn’t terrible, but when one of the only times you laugh is at a gag regarding a one-armed bellboy, you know that you’re probably not watching a quality film. I can appreciate that this was kind of a vanity project for the guys; and I can appreciate the movie for what it is–a fun homage to the teen movies of the 80s. There are numerous nods to those films: the skiing theme of Better Off Dead; the cameo of William Zabka (of Karate Kid fame); references to Red Dawn; etc. But, I don’t think that these concepts are enough to save the entire film. As someone said in a review on Rotten Tomatoes, “The film lacks any structure,” and “many of the gags are inadequately developed.” I feel like I watched a demo of a real movie, rather than watching a final film. That’s likely deliberate on the part of those behind the film, but it just didn’t really sit well with me.
WARNING: This movie trailer below is very explicit, so don’t say I didn’t warn you, if you’re offended by that type of thing!
If you’re looking for a light diversion–and you were a teenager in the 80s–it’s worth a look. But don’t expect many laughs or any real substance at all.
Thinking today about how disappointed I was in this movie, I found myself going back to a film I saw on cable (not pay-per-view) several months ago. I was in the mood for something light & silly, and I decided to give Sex Drive a try. I didn’t expect much more than a cheesy redo of Porky’s, but I had nothing better to do. I actually loved the movie, and I laughed harder than I’ve laughed in a long time. Be forewarned, it’s quite raunchy–but it also has heart, and it has some characters you care about. It also has a prime role for Clark Duke, who played Cusack’s nephew in Hot Tub Time Machine.
Ian has a decision: stay home and stay a virgin or drive 800 miles to lose his virginity to an online hottie. Decision made. Now Ian and his horn-dog buddy Lance are off on a sexual safari . . . with BFF baggage Felicia in tow. Their epic quest features a stolen GTO, kinky trailer park sex, a prison fight, topless Abstinence Xtreme dancers, a smart-ass Amish super-mechanic, a gun-wielding Mexican donut, and Ian’s “d-bag” brother in hot pursuit.
Sure, this movie also features all of the “tried-and-true” elements of the typical 80s teen movie–but I believe it puts Hot Tub Time Machine to shame. I agree with some of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, such as:
“Likeable, frequently hilarious teen comedy that’s like an updated version of The Sure Thing, crossed with Road Trip and American Pie.”
My advice–skip the hot tub and take the sex drive! Trust Candy – she knows what she’s talking about.