Let's Go to Prison is a modern day Shawshank Redemption, a classic of epic proportions, a truly moving tale of one man's arduous attempt to reach freedom. Then again, it could be a God-awful, stale, humorless comedy from director Bob Odenkirk. Haven't heard of him? Neither have we.
Will Arnett, perhaps best known for the obnoxious, sleazy brother on Fox's hilarious comedy "Arrested Development", stars as the rich CEO of a company... until he is plaed in prison for a crime he didn't commit (the convenience store owners mistake his attempt to purchase an asthma inhaler, which you can't just buy over the counter anyway, as a miniature gun). Suddenly, he finds his world upside down as he is stuck in a prison full of butt sex-loving racist criminals. Luckily, he has a new pal in the form of Dax Shepard, who seems to be looking out for him at every turn, but little does he know that Shepard is actually the one who put him in the pen in the first place.
Arnett is a funny guy, though from what I've seen he is a one character show. He was great in "Arrested Development" and fans of his character should be entertained with Let's Go to Prison as he essentially plays the same guy all over again. He's naive, a bit dumb, sleazy and self-centered, and those are his most redeeming qualities. Unfortunately, despite the fact that Let's Go to Prison is a pretty stupid movie, Arnett's stupid character really isn't that interesting here. The reason is probably that "Arrested Development" was actually smart in its handling of all its weird characters, where Let's Go to Prison really lacks much purpose all around.
The movie is not the disaster I was expecting it to be, but it is surely no Oscar winner and really not worth watching at all, even if you like stupid comedies. A prison comedy like this could work, but some situations are just so stupid and inane that it is hard to take any pleasure out of them. And, aside from some language and a few innuendos, the film hardly takes advantage of its R rating. Had it gone the extra mile and really tried to repulse (and maybe humor?) the audience, it might have at least been worth a glimpse, but as is, there isn't a single memorable scene in the entire movie.
Let's Go to Prison isn't completely horrible, but it's dull and humorless nonetheless. Shepard, who has been moderately entertaining in other movies, is as flat as a piece of paper here, and the rest of the cast, including Chi McBride, don't do much to elevate the material. Ultimately, Let's Go to Prison really has no value whatsoever.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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