The alteration of the past is fodder for two types of films -- extremely serious
science fiction or ponderous films like the "Butterfly Effect" or
comedies like the "Back To The Future" trilogy. "Hot Tub Time
Machine" belongs to the latter that takes inspiration from the former but
manages to pack enough laughs throughout the film.
Adam (John Cusack), Nick (Craig Robinson) and Lou (Rob Corddry) are ex-best friends who are caught up in their lives without their having caught up with living.
They exist in a never ending maze of depression that middle-aged guys their age usually find themselves in. They do not bother to keep in touch with either each other, or their own past aspirations of themselves.
After a freak accident in which Lou is nearly killed, his friends impulsively take him, along with Adam`s sister`s son Jacob (Clark Duke), to a ski resort they used to frequent as teenagers. Here, sitting and getting wasted in a bath tub, which is actually a time machine, the four get transported to 1986.
Keeping in mind that everything they do there will effect the future they are trying to get back to, they try to remember and do the exact same thing they had done when they were actually here in 1986.
But, they are not the same persons and one thing leads to the others and the night turns out to be a crazy one of lost second changes, regained sense of self, and lots of laughter for the audience.
Adam finds his true love. Nick rediscovers his love for music. Lou discovers a fortune and Jacob finally finds out who his father really is.
A plot like that of "Hot Tub..." offers sufficient opportunities to the writer director for comedy. Thankfully, none - the writers, the director or the actors - miss this chance giving the viewers a few giggles and lots of laughter.
The actors play their parts well, individually and with each other. Their timing is just right. And so are the gags.
The team, besides the actors, is fairly new to films. Perhaps that is the reason for its freshness.
When the four return back to their time, like `back to the future` they find that the future has changed for them and they are no longer the losers they were when they left.
The film has been a success worldwide. It would have been so even if the producers had not advertised it as `another `Hangover`. `Hot Tub...` stands its own funny ground firmly without the need for associating with anything else. And as audience, we just may have witnessed the birth of a new comedy franchise with many sequels to follow.
If "Hot Tub..." is anything to go by, its is a sequel everyone will eagerly await.