I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell -- Film Review

Benjamin Walker
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 13:  Actor Benjamin Walker attends the "Bloody Bloody Jackson" opening night after party at Brasserie 8 1/2 on October 13, 2010 in New York City.

If for no other reason, "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell," based on Tucker Max's blog and best-selling memoir, achieves a certain cinematic distinction by outdoing "Dumb and Dumber" in sheer grossness and detail with its depiction of the unfortunate effects of explosive diarrhea. Whether that will be enough to entice moviegoers in sufficient numbers is another question.

An accurately self-described "asshole," Max also co-wrote the screenplay for this effort, which, like his literary output, makes little effort to depict him in any but the most unflattering light. The story involves Tucker (Matt Czuchry) recruiting his best friends -- soon-to-be-married straight arrow Dan (Geoff Stults) and bitter, recently dumped Drew (Jesse Bradford) -- to a private bachelor party at an apparently freewheeling strip club several hundred miles away.

Things don't go quite as planed, of course, with Dan -- who has lied about his whereabouts to his trusting fiancee (Keri Lynn Pratt) -- winding up in a drunk tank after being beaten within an inch to his life, and Drew, whose hatred of the female species is constantly being expressed in the most explicit terms, becoming emotionally involved with a good-hearted stripper (Marika Dominczyk) and her young son.

Meanwhile, Tucker manages to fulfill his real aspirations for the road trip, which involves, among other things, a hoped-for sexual liaison with a dwarf.

Despite a long, rambling mea culpa in the form of a wedding toast that Tucker delivers near the film's end, the character is unredeemable. This wouldn't matter so much if he displayed an iota of rakish charm, but, as less than charismatically portrayed by clean-cut Czuchry, he's not someone who audience members are likely to embrace as an overgrown Ferris Bueller.

Crudely filmed by director Bob Grosse ("Niagara, Niagara"), the film is unfunny from first minute to last, and its half-hearted attempts at emotion merely underscore its general loathsomeness.

Opens: Friday, Sept. 25 (Freestyle Releasing, Darko Entertainment)
Production: Rudius Films, Bih, The Collective Studios, Pink Slip Pictures
Cast: Matt Czuchry, Jesse Bradford, Geoff Stults, Keri Lynn Pratt, Marika Dominczyk.
Director: Bob Grosse
Screenwriters: Tucker Max, Nils Parker
Producers: Richard Kelly, Ted Hamm, Richard Kelly, Karen Firestone, Tucker Max, Sean McKittrick, Nils Parker
Executive producers: Shaun Redick, Ray Mansfield
Director of photography: Suki Medencevic
Editor: Jeff Kushner
Production designer: Eve Cauley
Costume designer: Alison Parker
Music: James L. Venable
Rated R, 105 minutes