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Review: Hot Tub Time Machine

Plays out like a mullet in the new millennium
By TOM MEEK  |  April 1, 2010
2.5 2.5 Stars

Steve Pink has a big chubby for the ’80s. He helped pen the script for High Fidelity, and here, reuniting with John Cusack, he dips deeper into Reagan-era nostalgia. The ski-resort hot tub of the title shorts out, sending three pals from 2010 (Cusack, Craig Robinson, and Rob Corddry) back to 1986. 

The disoriented misfits conclude that the only way to re-enter the present is to re-enact events exactly as they happened back in the day — events that include a beatdown by a neo-Nazi ski patrol, a break-up via fork in the eye, and sex with a hot groupie (even though you know you’re married in the future).

Pink’s derivative vision plays out like a mullet in the new millennium. Cusack and Robinson work overtime to give the bad buzz some heart, but the dénouement, a tasteless sex act, almost undoes their effort despite a brilliant, genre-spanning soundtrack that does more for Mötley Crüe than reality TV.

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