Raunchy Time-Travel Comedy Arrives on DVD
This relentlessly-vulgar exercise in depravity easily outdoes many of the earlier examples of the shock genre, such as There’s Something about Mary (1998) where Cameron Diaz mistakes semen for hair gel? Here, you better brace yourself for the sight of a guy messily ejaculating all over the face of one of his buddies.
Or how about the Oedipal overtones of Back to the Future (1985), where Michael J. Fox found himself fending off his own mother’s advances. By contrast, in this case we have a character who travels back in time to watch himself being conceived by his naked mom during a drunken one-night stand.
The movie also makes an allusion to more recent teensploits, such as The Hangover (2009) which featured a convicted sex offender molesting a missing infant. Here, we have incest instead of pedophilia, with a man erotically massaging his grown son’s private parts.
This sort of tasteless fare proves to be par for the course in Hot Tub Time Machine, a cinematic sign of the imminent collapse of Western Civilization. The movie stars John Cusack, Craig Robinson and Rob Corddry as best friends, each in the midst of a midlife crisis.
At the point of departure, we learn that Adam’s (Cusack) just been dumped by his girlfriend; Nick’s (Robinson) controlling wife (Kellee Stewart) is cheating on him; and clinically-depressed Lou (Corddry) feels he has nothing to live for, between his alcoholism and erectile dysfunction.
So, they plan a vacation to the same ski resort which served as the site of their sordid sexual conquests during the lost glory days of their misspent youth. Upon their arrival at the Silver Peaks Lodge, the buddies find themselves magically deposited in 1986 for a second go-round as bawdy bachelors, courtesy of an electrical short circuit of the hot tub they’re marinating in. The story doesn’t bother to offer a plausible scientific explanation for this astounding development, nor as to why our heroes suddenly look young again to everyone other than each other.
At heart, this sleazy flick is a titillating, homoerotic fantasy masquerading as a nostalgic, male-bonding opportunity. A kinky cross of Caligula and Back to the Future!
Poor (½ star)
Rated R for nudity, graphic sexuality, crude humor, drug use and pervasive profanity.
Running time: 100 Minutes
Distributor: MGM Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Original and unrated versions, 9 deleted scenes, and theatrical trailers.