One doesn’t feel too optimistic about a film that titteringly names its protagonist Lyshitski, especially when all the trailers would have you believe the story’s a one-joke riff on the fear of a black penis. So perhaps it’s just a case of low expectations at work here, but Let’s Go to Prison is much funnier and weirder than you think. Directed by Mr. Show‘s Bob Odenkirk, who doesn’t have much of an eye for cinematography or editing but knows a good joke when he hears one, it involves a harebrained revenge scheme conceived by a perpetual screwup (Dax Shepard) against the judge who regularly incarcerated him. Since the judge has died, our antihero plots to get the judge’s pompous son (Arrested Development‘s Will Arnett) thrown in jail, then have himself sent back so he can make prison life even more miserable for the son. Michael Shannon (last seen as World Trade Center‘s heroic ex-Marine) shines as a white supremacist with a fork fetish, cannily mocking the obsessive zeal he’s shown in other roles. But Let’s Go to Prison is Shepard and Arnett’s show, and if they weren’t on everybody’s comedic radar before, they will be after this.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 14, 2006