‘Roscoe Jenkins’: same old script, funnier cast

It looks like black family reunion movies with the same theme will continue to be played in theaters for a while. “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins” is another one of these black family reunion movies.

Even though the screenwriter tried to change the occasion of the movie from a family reunion to a 50-year anniversary that brings the family together to celebrate, it still had the same feel.

Roscoe Jenkins (Martin Lawrence) is a Jerry Springer-like talk show host who gets engaged to Bianca Kittles (Joy Bryant), a winner of the television show “Survivor,” who is a health freak. After nine years away, Jenkins decides to see his family because of his parent’s 50-year anniversary.

The only problem with going back home is that no one in his family recognizes his accomplishments. He also has to encounter his cousin, with whom he has been in competition with for more than 20 years.

When Roscoe arrives home to his family, the audience understands why he hasn’t been home in nine years. His family treats him so badly, it can make someone want to cut the movie short 45 minutes by creating a situation where Roscoe just leaves and forgets about his “no good” family.

This movie makes the audience leave the theater mad but pleased at the same time. The audience will be mad because the family has no reason to treat Jenkins as badly as they do, but it will be pleased because the jokes in the movie are hilarious.

Although it follows the theme of some “played out” and boring black family reunion movies, “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins” has a different feel because a lot of well-known comedians are seen in it. Shining stars such as James Earl Jones, Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps, Michael Clarke Duncan, Nicole Ari Parker and Mo’Nique all perform well and bring their characters to life.

Everything that Mike Epps’ character, Reggie, says in the movie is funny. He becomes the joke that he tells. Also, when Roscoe Jenkins makes jokes on children in the movie, it’s funny.

It seems like the characters are on the stage of BET’s “Comicview” because everyone is fighting each other for the spotlight. Maybe the comedians wanted to outshine each other instead of put in teamwork.

The jokes outweigh the bad plot in the movie. Even the serious moments are funny. If the movie would exclude every scene and just put the entire cast on a stage, it could get an Oscar just for the jokes. Alas this is not the case. The only accolade this film may receive is a statuette from the BET Comedy Awards.