Hot Take: Hell and Back takes a lot of swings at crude, vulgar and juvenile humor and strikes out frequently. The movie itself is so weak, the audience might feel their experience mirrors the title. It’s not without a few laughs. Although partnering “few” with “and far between” might best describe the funny moments.
Don’t let the voice talent Hell and Back possesses (Nick Swardson, Bob Odenkirk, Rob Riggle, Mila Kunis, Susan Sarandon, Danny McBride, Jennifer Coolidge, David Koechner, J.B. Smoove, Michael Pena and Greg Proops) fool you. The R-rated stop motion animated comedy is a somewhat unoriginal concept (didn’t South Park kind of, sort of do the trapped in hell thing before?) that is noticeably crude which tells you how frequently unfunny (not in the “I’m trying to be serious” unfunny way but the “I’m trying to be funny but I’m not” unfunny way) and often predictable it is. Hey, at least it’s only 84 minutes.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- The Welcome to Hell Demon
They could have done this joke for 84 minutes and it might have been a better movie.
- Mila Kunis
Her voice lends itself to animation so well. Not sure why. It just does.
- Orpheus’ Song
Danny McBride is a little funny as Orpheus. He couldn’t save Aloha either.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- The Devil
The devil isn’t really bad. He was just forced to run Hell and now has to keep up appearances. Sounds hilarious, doesn’t it?
- The Humor Never Establishes An Identity Other Than Juvenile
Is this a stoner comedy? There’s a reference early and then that goes by the wayside. Is Hell and Back driven by sex jokes? There’s references to sex but it’s not the central theme. There’s a few scenes that are a little gross but it’s not a gross out comedy, either. The movie never commits to a comedic tone.
- A Waste of Talent
So much potential.