Friday, February 15, 2008

Let's Go To Prison

I had heard nothing good about this film, and was expecting a pretty stupid movie, the way most comedies these days tend to be. That isn't a 'back in my day' attitude I'm taking, I'm just saying that ever since American Pie, comedy has become more mean spirited, more focused on bodily fluids and the wacky ways people can ingest/become covered by them, and more... unrealistic, to use a possibly faulty descriptive. What changed my mind was a fairly enjoyable cast(I'm a bit on the fence about Dax Shepard, but after this, Idiocracy and Zathura, I'm leaning towards liking him), and the involvement of Bob Odenkirk, half of the greatest comedy duo of my generation.

Now, lest I give the wrong impression, it should be noted that Let's Go To Prison is very mean-spirited- at least on the surface- and has plenty of gross-out humor, and is a tad unrealistic at times. So why do I feel so much more comfortable watching this than, say, Epic Movie or Dude Where's My Car? Because, beneath that nasty exterior, the movie is actually very empathetic towards it's main characters. They may get beaten and humiliated in ways meant to amuse us, but the movie is actually attempting to make a point here. It wouldn't work to say that this movie is a realistic portrayal of prison life. I mean, this is no Oz, but neither is it Hogan's Heroes. Sure the humor is played up, but it's more like they viewed the reality of the situation through the lense of humor, rather than tried to force screwball slapstick in between the horrors of toothbrush shivs and prison sex.

As John Lyshitski(Dax Shepard) says: It costs $54 a day to keep a person in prison, which comes out to $75 million a day nationally. That's $28 billion a year. When you think about it, wouldn't it be cheaper just to let us keep your goddamn car stereos?

In the end, I think I came away from this feeling much the same way I did about Idiocracy; wondering why the hell this movie hadn't been treated better by the studio. Although, to be fair, this movie actually got a theatrical release and I did see some ads on television, which is a helluva lot more than Idiocracy got. But in the end, this was a movie that the studio had no idea how to market, with a sense of humor more subtle than I think they were expecting, and some unexpected social commentary, and it kinda got dumped onto a few screens and then quietly forgotten until it came time to release it on DVD.

2 comments:

SomeGuy said...

I saw this at my cousin's place and I enjoyed more than I thought I would. Definitely worth it for the Technotronic song played throughout the movie, especially during the ending credits.

The Working Dead said...

That was pretty good. I love those end credits. Chi McBride's face as he sings along is hilarious.