There is that old saying If it isn’t broken don’t fix it. This saying must be the guiding light for Tyler Perry as the director/producer/writer hardly deviates from his comedy or drama formula. Releasing his sixth installment of the diary of Mad Black Women, audience members have been flooding in to see the latest adventure of the eccentric woman. This time though Perry pulled in other celebrities to help extend his whacky families and try to keep the series fresh and funny. Yet the question remains: Has Madea finally reached her limit, or is Perry still got some tricks up his sleeve to make the old girl still funny? Read on to find out.
The plot, for what little there is, starts with George Needleman (Eugene Levy) discovering his industry is involved in a Ponzi scheme associated with the mob. Set up as the fall man, George and his family are placed in the witness protection program under the watchful eye of Brian (Perry). Knowing the family is only safe from the mob in one place; Brian asks his aunt Madea (Perry) and father Joe (Perry) to hide them while he investigates the case.
As you can see the plot, Perry has gotten a little creative with Madea’s life and is working on extending her influence past her family. Unfortunately the potential promised from the trailers is never reached, as the Perry drops the ball on various parts of this movie. I’ll tell you now that despite the introduction of the mob, Perry really didn’t take the idea further than the delivery of a dead rat. The lack of threatening situations not only limits the story, but instead gave the crew more time to show pointless scenes filled with Madea’s unique pronunciations of various words. When she wasn’t butchering the language though, Madea had some lines that were one hit wonders, timed perfectly for maximum laughter, and delivered in a cartoonish manner. Yet after the first thirty minutes, Madea had grown stale on me, just like the other five movies, and I kept hoping the movie would stray into other comedic styles. Despite my hopes, putting Levy in the film offered little Madea relief as the main comedy he provided were those comical faces he naturally makes and some nervous chattering. As for the other cast members well they don’t really provide that many laughs. Denise Richards, aside from looking beautiful as always, only got laughs when she impersonated Madea, which wasn’t even that funny too me. Doris Roberts on the other hand had a few awkward and facetious hits, but assigning her geriatric jokes about being senile isn’t my cup of tea. As for Romeo, well the former rap star has resorted to shouting and jumping like a maniac for comedy.
Now although the extended cast failed to add any new comedy, there were some other things they provided to help make this movie stand out. Levy’s character did open up a new backstory for Joe to help connect him to the character. The family also helped teach Perry’s moral that he usually includes in his movies, about the importance of family and sticking together. While the lesson was taught in a whimsical, yet sentimental way, it still needed some extra pizazz to help get the moral through. The characters also helped Madea leave her homestead and take on a new city, New York to be exact. While the comedy was still the same, it was refreshing to see Madea interact with people other than her nosy neighbors, or her ridiculous family.
Unfortunately this film is filled with weaknesses that have many reviewers deducting points faster than a English paper with bad grammar. The biggest weakness is the repetitiveness of the comedy. If this had been the first or second installment it would still be funny, but six films later and Madea is doing the same things over and over again just gets annoying. Perhaps what was even worse about this film is that the directing team attempted to jam as many cheap one liners into a two hour time span. While it provided countless opportunities to laugh, the dialog was so hastily delivered that it was hard to follow anything they said. The second weakness is the acting, although Perry and Levy keep to their typical character roles, the rest of the gang was not as enjoyable to watch. The kids in particular were rather cheesy or annoying, the girl being the worst of the two. I don’t know if the girl just needed more character development, or if Perry focused too much on his own characters and acting, but something threw the balance out of whack. Finally the time limit was perhaps a little too long for me. Normally a two hour time limit is not bad, but for a Madea series well it needed to end about 45 minutes earlier.
Let’s face it if you’re a fan of the series you are probably going to see this movie at some point. As many of the audience members said as they exited the theater, “Had I not been a fan of Madea I would have said this movie was a flop.” If you are looking for Perry’s typical mannerisms, slapstick humor, and Mad Black Woman dialog, then you’ve come to the right film. However, if you can wait, I suggest renting this movie on Netflix, where you can at least enjoy some non-stale popcorn to counteract the stale humor. My scores for the film are the following:
Movie Overall: 5.0
Check back tomorrow for my final movie of the weekend, Magi Mike and as always enjoy the films my friends.