Hell and Back

Year: 2015
Production Co: ShadowMachine
Director: Tom Gianas/Ross Shuman
Writer: Tom Gianas/Zeb Wells/Hugh Sterbakov
Cast: Nick Swarsdon, Rob Riggle, TJ Miller, Mila Kunis, Danny McBride, Bob Odenkirk, Susan Sarandon, H Jon Benjamin, Jennifer Coolidge

Even watching the trailer online after watching the movie has me in stitches. It was ridiculous, stupid and puerile, but a rapid pace and writing that far exceeds the quality of the actual story make it the funniest entry into an albeit slight genre (R rated animated comedies).

Three losers, Remy (Nick Swardson), Augie (TJ Miller) and Curt (Rob Riggle), work at a broken down amusement park when they come across a book all about the devil. For a lark they make a blood oath on it, but when they thoughtlessly break it and Curt is dragged to hell, Remy and Augie have to jump into the portal that opens to go in after him.

Falling into the eternal depths of the fiery pit, they discover hell might actually be manageable after all. With the help of disturbingly hot demoness Deema (Mila Kunis) and the oracle Orpheus (Danny McBridge), a blowhard fratboy wannabe, the race is one to find Curt and drag him back to Earth away from the clutches of the devil himself (Bob Odenkirk).

The problem is, the devil's actually not such a bad buy, more a frustrated CEO as consumed with his love for an angel as he is with running his kingdom tormenting souls. And when he and Curt bond, it might be harder for Remy and Augie to get Curt back to Earth than they thought.

The plot is pretty disposable, but it goes off on so many wild asides (a lilting love song remembering a sexual assault by a tree) with so many inventive characterisations it's impossible not to be drawn in.

Watch it before you see the far higher profile Sausage Party, and you'll be able to judge whether Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and their usual crew (many of whom appear here) can do the same thing any better.

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