Starring: Mila Kunis, Nick Swardson, Bob Odenkirk
Director: Tom Gianas, Ross Shuman
Running Time: 85 mins
Hell And Back is an American film about two guys who fall down to Hell in an attempt to rescue a friend of theirs, and in the process come across various religious figures.
R-rated animations are becoming more and more popular nowadays, but I’ve still never seen one that really works. Team America has a certain charm to it, but it’s not that great, I’m not a fan of South Park, and Hell And Back was another big disappointment in the genre.
The biggest problem by a mile with this film is that it’s just not funny. I can remember two jokes that made me chuckle halfway through, but they lasted about five seconds altogether. Apart from that, watching this film is painfully frustrating, as you’re met with incessant juvenile and foul-mouthed humour along the same lines of Team America and South Park, but pretty much every single joke falls flat.
So, the main objective of this film, to make you laugh, is a big failure, but what about the rest of it? Well, the story isn’t particularly good either. Whilst it’s not as annoyingly bad as the comedy, it’s so generic and predictable that there’s no reason to really care about what’s going on, whilst it’s also painfully slow-paced. An 85 minute movie should normally whizz by, but Hell And Back felt like it went on for hours such was the poor pacing and dull story, making it an even more unappealing watch.
In terms of the voice performances, they’re fine. They’re nothing spectacular, and you can feel that they’re just a little detached from their on-screen characters, but the actors try their best with a poor script, and occasionally add a little bit of energy and fun to some scenes.
There is one positive that I can think of here, and that’s the animation. Whilst this sort of Tim Burton-inspired stop motion look isn’t really my thing, I can appreciate that it’s done pretty well here. The setting is very well-detailed, and it does feel like a cartoon version of Hell, which is exactly what they were going for here.
Overall, however, there’s not much to like about Hell And Back. It wasn’t unbearable, but it really wasn’t funny, and that just made it a tough and boring watch from start to finish, and that’s why I’m giving it a 5.1.