The cameos in the film are great. There’s Chevy Chase, Craig Robinson’s real life band “Nasty Delicious” and I think I even saw William “Sweep the Leg” Zabka in there. However, Chevy Chase is completely wasted as the mysterious hot tub repairman that talks in vague comments and never seems to be around when the guys need him. The only person that gets to do any real interacting with Chase is the young Clark Duke. Sebastian Stan plays Blaine (another 80’s reference), the ski lodge’s head patrol guy, who causes young Lou much anxiety and is the source of more than one of his black eyes.
One of the best parts of the story revolves around Glover’s one-armed character and how he got to be that way. In 1986 he has two arms and the film does a good job of building up the anticipation over how he actually loses it. That entire sub-plot is very funny and just about every scene with Glover in it makes you think “Oh here it comes!”
Steve Pink does have the movie dripping with 80s throwback references, including lines from a few of Cusack’s films like Better Off Dead. I won’t tell you where they are, but see if you can spot them all. Pink even told me that one line was cut from the film because it felt too forced. The guys fall off a cliff while skiing and Cusack asks “Are we dead?” to which Robinson replies, “We’d be better off.” I get a chuckle from it now but in the theater it would have been groan inducing, so that was a good decision to leave it out.
Overall, Hot Tub Time Machine is exactly what you would expect a movie with that title to be – fun but not perfect. MGM is hoping this will pull in Hangover or Knocked Up-type numbers this weekend, but I don’t think that will be the case. However, I do think it could very well end up in the $100 million range, which, on a $36 million dollar budget, wouldn’t be bad at all.
One good piece of knowledge to take away from this film: Steve Pink suggested to me that a drinking game should be made where you drink a shot for every time the bear mascot is spotted on screen. Have fun with that.