Let's not

Lets Go To Prison

on November 17, 2006 by Chad Greene
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Standing over the casualties of the supposedly comical convict-versus-convict death match that takes place near the end of Let's Go to Prison, the head screw at Rossmore State Penitentiary (David Koechner, Thank You for Smoking ) orders his men to “get 'em out of here before they start stinking.”

Too late.

The unevenly homophobic/homophilic humor of Let's Go to Prison starts stinking up the “joint” long before that particular scene unreels. John Lyshitski (Dax Shepard, Employee of the Month ) and Nelson Biederman IV (Will Arnett, TV's Arrested Development ) have both been sentenced to three-to-five in what is sometimes referred to as a “penal colony,” but the filmmakers are apparently laboring under the misconception that the first word is spelled “penile.” Take, for example, this bit of “romantic” dialogue from the prison paramour played by Chi McBride ( Annapolis ): “Of all the bathroom stalls in all the correctional facilities in all the world, he walks into mine.”

It'd take more than one glass of toilet merlot to feel festive during this film directed by Bob Odenkirk (TV's Mr. Show ), which is adapted from -- of all things -- a nonfictional survival guide titled You Are Going to Prison. The source material is perhaps to blame for Lyshitski's penchant for spouting random statistics about such laugh-out-loud topics as the daily cost of keeping a prisoner incarcerated. Granted, Lyshitski is the “brains” behind the scheme to get Biederman, the son of the late judge who sentenced him to his first jolt in juvie for stealing a giant Publishers Clearinghouse check, wrongfully convicted of knocking over a drugstore. But it's not like people are going to Go to Prison for a lecture on how, as Lyshitski proclaims, “our justice system sucks.”

Given its overconfidence on the humor inherent in running gags about prison rape and the '90s dance hit “Move This (Shake That Body),” this movie's 90-minute run time definitely feels like too long of a sentence. Distributor: Universal
Cast: Dax Shepard, Will Arnett, Chi McBride, David Koechner, Dylan Baker and Michael Shannon
Director: Bob Odenkirk
Screenwriters: Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon & Michael Patrick Jann
Producer: Marc Abraham, Matt Berenson and Paul Young
Genre: Comedy
Rating: R for language, sexual content, some violence and drug material
Running time: 90 min.
Release date: November 17, 2006

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