Directed by Malcolm D. Lee
Starring Martin Lawrence, Mo’Nique, Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps
Okay, on the downside, this film is directed by the same director of Roll Bounce and Undercover Brother. But, on the upside, it stars Martin Lawrence, Mo’Nique and Mike Epps, who all can always be counted on for a couple of laughs. Universal Studios Home Video recently released Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins on DVD.
Roscoe Jenkins (Martin Lawrence), or as he is known on his TV show Dr. R.J. Stevens, is seemingly a big success. He has a talk show that seems to be part Dr. Phil, part Jerry Springer, a deadly combination. I can only imagine if such a show actually existed.
I digress. R.J. or Roscoe, seems to have the world by the tale. He is doing his best to raise his son alone after the mother left the picture. He has a beautiful but demanding and shallow fiancé, who won Survivor but seems to treat everyday life and all the people she meets as if she is still on the island. . He has a beautiful home, cars, clothes and all the accoutrements that money can buy. He has left behind his humble upbringing and blue collar family for a life of fame and fortune.
Until he receives word that his parents are having a 50th wedding anniversary and family reunion and they really want Roscoe to attend. He begrudgingly packs up his son and fiancé and heads for home.
Once he arrives, he is thrust back into time. His luggage is lost so he has to wear some dated clothes from his high school days. His parents brag endlessly about his cousin Clyde (Cedric the Entertainer) who now has a car dealership and Roscoe’s first love on his arm. His parents still ignore his accomplishments. His sister Betty (Mo’Nique) still dispenses right hooks and insults with equal intensity and frequency. His big brother (Michael Clarke Duncan) is still much bigger, stronger and loves to intimidate. Needless to say, arriving home for Roscoe isn’t that much fun.
The plot of this film is easily discerned from the trailer and anyone could easily guess what is going to happen. Roscoe is going to be humiliated for comedic effect, he is going to have a change of heart and reconnect with his unpretentious family and leave his phony life behind and dump the beautiful but cruel girl for the simple but attractive girl next door that he left behind years ago. Just because the plot is shop worn, doesn’t mean the film can’t still be funny, right?
Unfortunately, the laughs are far and few between. There are some funny scenes with Martin Lawrence. Mo’Nique and Mike Epps give it everything they have to bring humor out of this leaden script and film. James Earl Jones brings credibility to a role that wasn’t well written or developed. Michael Clarke Duncan shows that he can bring more to a part than just muscles. But, the script is just not strong enough. This cast deserved a better executed and written film than what they were given.
I couldn’t recommend this as a must own for the collection. Only if you are a die hard Mo’Nique or Mike Epps fan would I say put this on your Netflix queue. You could skip this one and check out Lawrence, Mo’Nique or Epps in one of their other films for a night of laughs. Don’t hold this film against them. It’s not their fault.
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins is presented in widescreen. The colors are vibrant and I did not notice any instances of grain or artifacts.
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. The audio is crystal clear throughout and well balanced.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins is presented in a standard amaray case with artwork appropriate for the film presented.
Some nice bonus features await your perusal. There are deleted scenes, outtakes and three different featurettes detailing the production of the film offered.
A music video and alternate opening are also offered. A commentary with the director Malcolm D. Lee is also included.
While the film itself is disappointing, the bonus features are somewhat plentiful and entertaining.
Overall ( Not an Average) 5/10
The Movie 4.5/10
The Video 7/10
The Audio 7/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 7/10
Overall (Not an Average) 5/10