The introduction to Tucker Max’s web site states, “My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell is an adaptation of Tucker Max’s book by the same title, which showcases Max’s unbridled recklessness in the face of all that is decent and good. The blogger phenom spends his time drinking, having sex and mixing the two together to come up with the most unbelievable (but supposedly true) stories any shallow, college-aged boy—that’s right, “boy”—would envy not being a part of … and now he’s made a movie.
The film follows three friends, Dan, Drew and Tucker Max as they set out to have the craziest bachelor party possible a la The Hangover, but where the latter succeeded in its uncharacteristic plot structure and uproariously funny dialogue, Hell force-feeds viewers cheap, quippy jokes in its portrayal of who must be the saddest men on Earth.
Featuring non-stop beer, a Halo-centered plot device and enough naked women to rival Hugh Hefner’s roster of girlfriends, Hell plays like a 13-year-old’s wet dream—needless to say it doesn’t appeal to anyone seeking any sort of depth beyond a feigned attempt at character development.
As the film drags on, it becomes apparent that Max is a self-driven meathead who is willing to abandon and recklessly disregard the well-being of his friends in the search of a good story. However, as the film parades as an attack on the bigoted, chauvinistic tendencies of modern young, white men represented by Max, it bolsters just the opposite in doing so.
No real consequences come in response to Max and company’s actions, which, telling in the film’s true motives (be they conscious or not), are glorified throughout.
Tucker Max, who co-wrote the film with Nils Parker, definitely has a knack for storytelling … but this doesn’t mean it’s a good story. What I’m guessing started as a truly entertaining tale told to a gang of university beer pong experts does not translate well to the big screen. In a world where absolutely anything can happen, drinking and strippers fail to amaze.
The film’s production qualities are some of the lowest of any wide-release movies of late. The acting, aside from unknown Matt Czuchry (Tucker Max), ranges from bad to sickly, as it seems many of the characters were played by the rejects of the most recent high school production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
The dialogue is equally atrocious. What might have read as clever and sharp, sounds overworked, unrealistic and, despite consisting primarily of vulgarity and “yo momma”-esque comebacks, pretentious. Think Juno on crack.
Hell, like many films created with the college crowd in mind, has every right to tout its high level offensiveness, but in no way does the number of people a movie can turn off constitute a success of any degree. Usually offensive material suggests an underlying theme, a carefully interwoven social allegory, commentary on the state in which we live—Max’s film contains none. Hell is a pointless, circular, self-congratulating mess, as shallow and dry as the lonely, sex-addicted man it revolves around.
I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell is the opposite of what a comedy should be. It’s shameful anecdotes on drinking and women, the abuse of which Max observes as males’ “destiny as men,” are advocated for under the guise of satire, making the film feel more like a white-power rally than anything else. O, and in answer to the title, no: they didn’t serve any at the theatre.