Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner28/05/2008

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 113 mins

Dismal, overlong and largely laugh-free comedy drama enlivened only by a couple of relatively amusing supporting performances.

What's it all about?
Martin Lawrence plays TV host RJ Stevens, who has left behind his Southern roots and family name to transform himself into a successful self-help guru with a sexy, ex-reality TV star fiancee (Joy Bryant). When his parents (Margaret Avery and James Earl Jones) request that he return home to Georgia for their 50th Wedding Anniversary, RJ takes his bride-to-be Bianca and his 10-year-old son Jamaal (Damani Roberts) with him, intending to show everyone that he's not the awkward, picked-on and under-appreciated kid he used to be.

However, RJ's larger-than-life family soon put him in his place and it's not long before he's sparring with his old rival Clyde (Cedric the Entertainer) and enduring both physical and verbal abuse from his brother and sister (Michael Clarke Duncan and Mo'Nique). And when RJ's childhood sweetheart Lucinda (Nicole Ari Parker) reappears on the scene, RJ is forced to confront some long-buried feelings.

The Good
The film is lifted from one-star ignominy thanks to a couple of relatively amusing supporting performances, notably Joy Bryant (whose Survivor-inspired approach to everything is the film's only good joke) and Mike Epps (as RJ's fast-talking cousin Reggie), whose furious ad-libbing does manage to raise the odd smile.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is Lawrence himself, who delivers a typically charmless, unfunny performance that completely fails to engage. In addition, the relationship between RJ and his son is badly underwritten, which completely scuppers the supposedly emotional climax.

Aside from being achingly predictable, the script repeatedly resorts to comedy violence and a string of depressingly lowbrow gags that fall painfully flat. For example, you know you're in trouble when the film's main running joke involves the sexual relationship between two differently-sized dogs.

Worth seeing?
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins is a depressingly predictable, lazily written and largely unfunny comedy, though at least it's not as flat-out awful as Big Momma's House 2.

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Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (12A)
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 22/10/2017 07:10

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