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Worth A Look: 15.79%
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4 reviews, 14 user ratings

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Let's Go to Prison
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Imagine "Oz" Sans The Whimsy"
1 stars

Originally, I had planned on giving “Let’s Go To Prison” a pass–even if it had been screened for critics in advance, I usually try as a rule to avoid most comedies that give top-billing to Dax Shepard, a guy best described as the destitute man’s Dane Cook. However, on this particular day, I had just emerged from a screening of a film in which an unhappily married couple trek off to a remote Chinese village to fight a losing battle against a cholera epidemic sweeping the area and after sitting through that for two solid hours, I figured that if there was ever a time for an admittedly dumb and crude movie, it was then. Alas, while “Let’s Go to Prison” is certainly dumb and crude, I have to admit that the cholera movie was actually far less depressing to sit through.

Shepard stars as John Lyshitski (a name that should give a taste of the Oscar Wilde-like wordplay to come), a habitual criminal offender who blames his lifetime behind bars not on his own astonishing criminal ineptitude, but on the mean judge, one Nelson Biederman, who kept sentencing him to jail just because he stole a car or shot at a couple of people during a botched robbery. After being released from his third stretch, John decides to pull a “Cape Fear” and exact his revenge on the judge but his plans for retribution are stymied when he learns that the man died a couple of days earlier. Instead, he decides to set his sights on the late judge’s son, affluent jerk Nelson Biederman IV (Will Arnett, offering another variation of the affluent jerk persona he honed to perfection on the late, great “Arrested Development”), by making his life hell but this doesn’t quite work as planned when his first lighthearted prank (emptying the guy’s asthma inhaler) starts a chain reaction that lands Nelson a fiver-year stretch in prison. Inexplicably, John then gets himself thrown back in prison (apparently criminals can choose which prison they enter these days) so that he can “befriend” Nelson and make sure that he has the most painful five years of incarceration possible by conning him into encounters with wacky-deadly white supremacists, a wacky-amorous black gang leader (Chi McBride) and a wacky-vicious prison guard (David Koechner).

Unfortunately, the painful incarceration that Nelson endures is nothing compared to the one endured by anyone sitting in the audience, no doubt cursing the fact that they arrived too late to get a ticket for “Casino Royale.” If you got a group of sniggering 14-year-old dullards together and asked them to come up with every sophomoric prison-related gag they could possibly think of, I suspect that those results would be clever and funnier than the ones on display here. At the very least, those results might have a brashness to them that could have perked things up a bit. Here, the trio of screenwriters offer up a string of gags so tired and predictable that you can practically call out the punchlines before they are even set up. In fact, the only real surprise to be had in “Let’s Go to Prison” is that is was directed by Bob Odenkirk–having come from the illustrious likes of “Mr. Show” and “The Ben Stiller Show,” he presumably knows what smart comedy looks like even though you couldn’t tell that from the evidence presented here.

At the beginning of “Let’s Go To Prison,” we are offered a number of prison-related statistics–two millions Americans currently sitting in prison at a cost of $50 billion and the like–so I thought that I would close out this review with a few other statistics. Within its 84-minute running time, you will witness five scenes set in the shower room, two people (Arnett and Odenkirk) piss anyway any residual goodwill they may have retained from their previous work, an incalculable number of male-rape jokes, at least a dozen Fresca plugs and not a single laugh that doesn’t fall under the categories of rueful or embarrassed.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15284&reviewer=389
originally posted: 11/18/06 21:29:12
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User Comments

5/13/12 Monday Morning Loosen up...it's pretty funny. 4 stars
12/01/10 BoyInTheDesignerBubble Bought the dvd cause odenkirk directed it. 4 stars
7/17/07 jose this movie made me want to hang myself in my closet. thanks. 1 stars
11/23/06 jordan if you think that of will arnett, you most likely havent seen arrested development 1 stars
11/22/06 Tiffany Losco This was funny. Kinda strange, 4 stars
11/21/06 M Where did Dax Sherpard come from? He should go back. 1 stars
11/20/06 Will It's hard to make an original comedy film, but any idiot can give that film a bad review. 4 stars
11/19/06 michael dont let the title scare you away 4 stars
11/19/06 vALENTINE Gabaldon I nominate it for the worst movie of the year 1 stars
11/19/06 Louis Johnson Worth going to see.. 4 stars
11/18/06 Joe Dunkerley This is an instant classic, hilarious! 5 stars
11/18/06 jill i think will arnett IS a comedian, and a damn funny one too. 3 stars
11/18/06 Digger Let's not... 1 stars
11/18/06 ken kennedy there is NOT ONE JOKE ABOUT FECES IN THE WHOLE MOVIE... I LOVED IT! 5 stars
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  17-Nov-2006 (R)
  DVD: 06-Mar-2007



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