Blogger Laura McConnell could handle the time-travel inconsistencies but was bizarred out by the film’s poorly-researched sci-fi geek. (Warning: spoilers and heavy use of exaggeration)
Any time movies deal with time travel, a lot of questions pop up. Things like alternate timelines and alternate realities and the past being the future and the future being the past and grandfather paradoxes get all sorts of confusing. I gives me headache.
I saw Hot Tub Time Machine last weekend, and it was no exception to this rule. The movie created quite the conundrum as it concluded. I was left with huge questions that I had to rationalise. But in the end I could force just about everything to make sense. After all, I’m a sci-fi fan. I’m used to that. Time travel plots always require heavy duty belief suspenders. You can’t think too hard about them. There’s always something that just doesn’t jive. And as I said, Hot Tub Time Machine was no exception.
My brain also completely ignored the fact that hot tubs take a while to heat up in real life but that the magic one in the movie seemed to be instantly hot several times. (Didn’t I just say it was magic? No problem!)
I had to work harder to explain this, though: one friend chose to stay behind in the past at the end of the film and therefore changed that past in huge ways. Wouldn’t it follow, then, that he and his buddies would never have gone back in time to begin with because they wouldn’t have been in that situation again? Thus he wouldn’t have been in the past and… wait, what? That stumped me for a bit. I didn’t even realise the paradox until I was driving home from the cinema, because I’d been too busy laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the movie while watching it, but when I did, I had to think for a minute. I had all the old time travel debates in my head. But eventually, I was able rationalise even this. I argued that that timeline was instantly created the moment the other three friends returned to the future and he stayed behind. My brain said that that past didn’t exist until that instant, thus making everything line up, and I went along with it.
But there’s one thing even I can’t explain away.
One thing just goes too far.
It makes me wonder if the filmmakers did any research at all.
Did they think they could pull the wool over our eyes? That we could be so easily duped? That we would ignore the one line of dialogue that was a blaring inconsistency from what we know to be true?
I mean, really. Who ever heard of a male Stargate fan fiction writer?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I loved the nod to my beloved franchise, I truly appreciated that the writers didn’t use the cliché Trekkie guise, and I know that that character could have been one of the three male Stargate fans on the planet, but really? Come on.
A male fan fiction writer is hard enough to find in male-dominated fandoms, but in Stargate ? A place where men are as rare as naquadah here on Earth? That’s utter craziness!
You know what, though?
I don’t care. I loved Hot Tub Time Machine . I’d go watch it again. It was complete and utter nonsense, and it blatantly got the Stargate fan cliché dead wrong, but I don’t care one bit.
I love serious sci-fi. Heck, Moon was one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time. But I also love my complete and utter nonsense. Hot Tub Time Machine is a comedy. It qualifies as sci-fi because the main plot device is, in fact, a time-traveling hot tub, but at its heart it is a comedy, and as such it succeeded.
I laughed my butt off at this film, so I say everybody in the tub!