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Let’s Go To Prison : Unrated (DVD)

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Caffeinated Clint
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Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

At the header of the film, there’s an over-animated cop speaking directly to camera about how the events we’re about to see in the film are just plain shameful, and that, well, none of its funny. At all.


Dax Shepard, Will Arnett, Chi McBride

At the header of the film, there’s an over-animated cop speaking directly to camera about how the events we’re about to see in the film are just plain shameful, and that, well, none of its funny. At all.

Thank god for that, because I swear, for a moment there I nearly did laugh… or was that my throat rejecting the burnt end of a muffin?

There is such a thing as a good prison comedy, but whilst “Lets go to Prison” is an easily endurable experience and has some good comedic performances, it isn’t it. In fact, I think it was much funnier when it was released in the early 80s and starred Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor and Sidney Poiter.

For all intents and purposes, Bob Odenkirk’s so-so comedy is an unabashed rip-off of “Stir Crazy” – complete with the flamboyantly gay prison butt-plugger. And like Sidney Poiter’s scene-stealing performance in that genuinely funny film, Chi McBride rules every frame he appears in here too. He, if anyone, comes close to actually evoking a laugh from the audience.

In a nutshell: Upon his exit from prison, trouble-making parole John (Shepard) decides he’s going to make hell for the Judge that’s responsible for his in-and-out life behind bars. Unfortunately for him, the Judge is dead. Solution? Take his revenge on the Judge’s son, Nelson (Arnett), a wealthy conceited businessman, instead. Within the day, John has Nelson thrown into prison – to get ‘the full treatment’. And within the same day, John has himself readmitted to prison, so he can be his cellmate.

Yeah, it’s an OK stencil. And I never said the film was terrible. It isn’t, it’s just a little flat. It could be partly due to the fact that Will Arnett (“Arrested Development”) and Dax Shepard (“Punk’d”) aren’t ready to be leading men yet. They’re always good in support roles, accompanied by a much more talented more-known star, but here… they’re just not exactly transfixing or captivating. In a few years time, they might’ve been able to make this more of a movie… having honed their comedy skills a little more… but at present, they’re a little unripe in their roles.

“Let’s go to Prison” is an easy-watch… and you will get through it all rather effortlessly… but it needed to be put back in the oven for a couple more hours to brown… because it just passes the ‘fit for consumption’ mark.

Extras include an alternate ending (it “might” be funnier than the one that’s currently in the film – but hard to tell), some deleted and extended sequences (which I fast-forwarded through) and some trailers. There’s also the option to view the ‘unrated’ version of the film or the ‘theatrical version’, I chose the former, but can’t for the life of me see why the film would be considering a near-taboo ‘unrated’ version…

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris

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Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

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