Boo! A Madea Halloween- Film Review
The fans of Mabel “Madea” Simons will be happy to see the wisecracking character let loose even more! As is the case with most of his films, the director goes on a one-man show with this film. Tyler Perry writes, produces, directs, and stars in all the Madea films as he takes on his usual three characters. He is arguably the best part of the movie, least in some of his guises.
He once again plays Madea, the opinionated grandmotherly figure with a checkered past, Madea’s grumpy brother, Joe, and finally, the nephew named Brian.
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 of all her sins.
Also as usual, this latest Madea movie is all about laughs, nothing less and nothing more. You’ll laugh hard, even when the jokes feel too lame, too vulgar or even too over-the-top.
However, at times, Perry’s writing and his troupe’s acting feels too big and theatrical for cinema, as if they are trying too hard to capture the energy of a live play on film. Disappointingly one would see some scenes go on for too long while some of Perry’s writings feels cheesy and overly dramatic.
Like most Perry movies, ‘Boo!’ has a deeper message, but I think that the emotional scene towards the end, where they hash things out feels misplaced and shallow.
Looking at his previous films, I feel confident to say that Tyler Perry is not the best of directors and a stale writer, but he should be commended for the character, Madea. In ‘Boo!’, she stars in her ninth feature film.
But the momentum is simply not there. In one particular scene, Madea, sitting in her straight-laced nephew Brian’s living room (also played by Perry), her brother Joe, and her two pals, Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis) and Hattie (Patrice Lovely), are engrossed in an awkward, drawn-out conversation that quickly runs dry. It feels like it carries on forever.
In this movie, Madea is not put into extremely horrifying situations, which is too bad, because putting Madea up against a typical horror movie assailant could have been very funny. However, her enemy in ‘Boo!’ is similar to one of the nemeses she regularly faces: mouthy, disrespectful teenagers who bring in a lot of funny punchlines and dark humour. Nephew Brian’s 17-year-old daughter Tiffany (Diamond White) wants to sneak out to a costume party at a nearby frat house, but to do this she and her pal, Aday (Liza Koshy) have to scare the old guardians with a spooky tale. This works and the three old ladies leave the house. Tiffany and Aday seize the opportunity and head for the party. But they get caught by Madea and her friends, who just happened to end up at the frat house. A series of increasingly far-fetched pranks follows.
‘Boo!’has far more in common with a Halloween episode in a sitcom than a full-blown horror-type Halloween movie despite the pretentions by the trailer and other promotional material.
Basically, ‘Boo!’ can only be called a full movie because of its 103-minute running time. The whole movie eventually devolves into a stream of conservative moralizing, which I think is Perry’s trade mark but informed viewers should know this. However, the character Madea still remains weirdly persuasive and true to her nature. Madea fans will not waste their time and their money to go see the ninth installment, but a more mature audience may be disappointed.