Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

'Let's Go to Prison' should be locked away

Let's Go to Prison (2006)
Starring: Dax Shepard, Will Arnett, Chi McBride, Dylan Baker, and David Koechner
Director: Bob Odenkirk
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

John (Shepard), a career criminal, plots to gain revenge against the judge who repeatedly sentenced him to prison by first getting Nelson (Arnett), the judge's obnoxious, self-important son sent to prison, and then arranging to have himself incarcerated with him. Although John's goal is to see the object of his hatred destroyed by the prison system and the violent inmates, his plan goes wrong at every turn.

"Let's Go to Prison" is a mostly misfired attempt at a comedy. It features good acting and provides a slew of mild chuckles, but in almost every case, the laughs could have been bigger if the scene had been better staged or if the script had been a bit tighter. In fact, there isn't a part of this film that didn't make me feel like it could have been improved if the script had been taken through an additional draft or two.

The fact this film kept flirting with full-blown farce but never crossed the line ended up harming it more than helping it. While part of me finds it interesting that the script could have been reshot as a "serious" and very scary thriller with only minor tweaks, this aspect also keeps it from being a decent comedy.


  1. I'm suprised to see someone actually reviewing this movie in 2010 seeing as it's the kind of thing, appeals to only the lowest common denominator and then is forgotten about forever. Good review though.

  2. MOST of the films I write about are probably ones that should be forgotten about forever. Certainly, my friends often comment on my lack of taste....

    (Actually, this specific review was originally written in 2006 to coincide with the DVD release of "Let's Go to Prison." Since there was nothing that dated it to that time-frame, I figured I'd just repost it straight. About 75% of the reviews that have been appearing across my blogs are reposts from my old blog that was demolished when they redesigned the site a couple of years ago. If you pay close attention to the number of posts for the years of 2000-2009, you will noticed that "new" posts continue to appear. But, I'm more than half-way through the reposting....)

  3. I'm always surprised to learn that Let's Go To Prison has a kind of cult following....
    Good description!

  4. One thing I've discovered over the years is that no matter how bad something seems, someone out there loves it. (I share your surprise in noting that "Let's Go to Prison" has a cult following, though. Maybe that cult is made up of the members of the Chi McBride Fan Club?)