Fans of Mabel “Madea” Simmons’ longtime foil Joe will be happy to see the wisecracking character let loose — even looser than usual — in Tyler Perry’s “Boo! A Madea Halloween.”
Joe goes above and beyond in his lewd quips. And he gets to bind and gag a trespassing clown.
‘Boo! A Madea Halloween’
DIRECTED BY: Tyler Perry.
STARRING: Tyler Perry, Cassi Davis, Patrice Lovely, Diamond White.
RUNNING TIME: 103 mins.
RATED: PG-13 GRADE: B-
Perry designed this ninth movie in the Madea franchise as a growth opportunity for Madea’s brother, one of three characters he plays.
The premise here is that Madea’s soft-parenting nephew Brian (Perry) needs someone to watch his teen daughter, Tiffany (Diamond White), on Halloween because he’s afraid she’ll sneak out to a frat party. He calls on his no-nonsense Aunt Madea (also Perry).
When Tiffany slips out, Madea follows — she has never been above revenge — along with Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis), Hattie (Patrice Lovely) and Joe.
The angered senior citizens crash the frat party and find themselves getting high and engaging in dance battles.
As usual, Madea gets into the most unusual predicaments, battling demented clowns and, at one point, running away from a fleet of zombies and into a church where she repents all of her sins. Even the “hoe” ones.
Also as usual, this latest Perry Madea flick is all about laughs — nothing less and nothing more. With “Boo!,” you’ll laugh hard, even when the jokes feel too slapsticky, too vulgar, too over-the-top.
At times, Perry’s writing and his troupe’s acting feel too big and stagy for cinema, as if they’re trying too hard to capture the energy of a live play on film. Some scenes go on too long, and some of the writing feels cheesy and overly dramatic.
It wouldn’t be a Tyler Perry movie, for instance, without a deeper message about the disconnect between Tiffany and Brian. But the emotional scene where they hash things out feels misplaced and fleeting.
It’s probably because Perry wanted “Boo!” to remain lighthearted, but it would have been better to nix the drama completely and keep Madea’s Halloween outing strictly about the laughs.
Nothing more and nothing less.