This Martin Lawrence comedy has about four good laughs and about 112 jokes that fall flat with a loud, embarrassing thud. Lawrence plays trash-TV host Roscoe Jenkins. The gorgeous Joy Bryant is the cartoonishly self-involved Bianca. We’re told Bianca was a winner on “Survivor,” but this superficial swizzle-stick couldn’t outwit, outlast or outplay a rock. She’s an idiot. These two obnoxious semi-celebrities leave the glitz of L.A. for Roscoe’s family reunion in the Deep South.
Michael Clarke Duncan is Otis, in one of the countless scenes in which someone gets punched, kicked, or doused in something unpleasant. He’s one of a dozen outstanding actors mired in a story that relies heavily on cheap slapstick gags. This isn’t a family reunion, it’s a UFC double elimination match.
I did laugh at some of the one-liners from Mike Epps and some of the kitchen scenes in which the snooty Bianca is put in her place. But “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins” would rather wallow in visual gags about mismatched dogs humping than explore any new comedic ground. The rivalry between Roscoe and Cedric the Entertainer’s Clyde is tiresome, childish and ridiculous. The romantic triangle that includes Roscoe’s unrequited high school love is beyond predictable. James Earl Jones looks embarrassed to be playing Roscoe’s father. I was embarrassed for him. This is a loud, stupid, cliché-riddled mess.