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Boo! A Madea Halloween won't win Tyler Perry's long-running franchise many new converts -- but at nine films and counting, it hardly needs to.
All Critics (41)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (8)
| Rotten (33)
Boo! is certainly the most watchable Madea movie I've seen in a long time, even though I get the feeling Perry still doesn't know how to direct for the screen.
Madea remains a distinctive, weirdly compelling character. Maybe someday Perry will make a good comedy for her.
Mr. Perry is ... an eccentric, inspired performer, and his screen-filling antics as the raucous but righteous Madea - a character who runs through Mr. Perry's stage, film and TV work - is the truly pertinent component here.
This comedy is unlikely to win over any new fans, but the devoted will find comfort in the familiarity.
At 103 minutes, this film has way too much dead weight. Scenes are repeated over and over, and some of the acting would not cut it in a school play.
"A Madea Halloween" is rare for Perry in that it's one of only two "Madea" films not adapted from a stage play, but it sure feels like one, with several scenes ... feeling like a one-act, one-room play that goes on and on and on.
Like the trick-or-treating scene, Perry the director doesn't know when to exit.
Boo! feels like a one-note television sketch that runs on and on and never really goes anywhere. This isn't perceptive nor inspired comedy; it's lazy, self-referential, and tired.
It seems with this film that [Perry] is possibly going a different direction with the Madea franchise and I don't like it.
Indeed, Boo! A Madea Halloween screams of being a cruel trick for the mis-TREAT-ment of Perry enthusiasts eagerly willing to embrace this piece of throwaway holiday hokum.
Just another cheap Tyler Perry sitcom film.
On paper, everything Tyler Perry does is not only smart, but it's also important. At it's best, you have films like 'Madea's Family Reunion', at it's worst, you have this film.
Can you believe that Tyler Perry has been making films for eleven years now? According to his wikipedia page, Perry has written and directed 16 films. That's more than one film per year, not quite two of course. That also goes without saying the fact that he also writes and direct plays. Not to mention the fact that, at the moment, he has FIVE television series on the air,, at the moment, that were created by him. So it's obvious, clearly, that this guy works hard. I'm not trying to take that away from him. What I am saying is that, even if Madea is his most famous creation, that the movies with his most famous characters have never, ever been good. I don't even wanna imagine how bad his drama movies are considering how bad Tyler Perry actually is at writing. I've always said this when it comes to Madea movies, the character is an awful stereotype, that's for damn sure, and there's similar stories in almost every one of these movies, but Tyler Perry has always done a good job as both Madea and Uncle Joe. He can be a talented performer in that setting. He also plays a regular, character without making and, quite frankly, he's literally got no personality or charisma whatsoever. So, obviously, this guy is much better at playing over-the-top, stereotypical characters as opposed to regular ones. Which is why he, seemingly, keeps going back to the Madea well so often. And, much like every Madea movie I've seen, this was just no good. It's been eleven years since his first directorial effort came out, Madea's Family Reunion. Twelve if you wanna count Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which he wrote but did not direct. How is it possible that, in the ensuing DECADE, Perry has learned absolutely nothing about filmmaking? It's like he's getting worse, because this movie is just really fucking bad, at least on the technical level. I believe that the peak of his 'cinematic vision' has Madea's Witness Protection. And that's according to my own reviews, considering that I gave that movie two stars. It's just a better movie overall. That's not saying much, of course, but it is better. This movie just looks and feels worse than Witness Protection even though WP was released 8 years ago. You'd think that Mr. Perry would have more resources at hand in order to make a movie that, at the very least, looks like it was meant to be released a feature-length film and not just a crappy TV movie. But that's where we are here. And that isn't even the biggest problem I have with the movie. Of course, and here we go, the biggest problem is the scripting, the dialogue and the story. All of these movies have the same characters. There's usually a mouthy teen that Madea has to set straight. Madea is still running from the police. There's still a focus on the church and god and all that preachy stuff. There's also a lot of casual talk about how beating your kids is actually good for them and how they turn to drugs, crime, etc if you don't hit them. That scene was pretty disgusting all things considered. But, thankfully, the film doesn't feature a melodramatic plot. It features Brian, Perry's normal character, finally standing up for himself to his daughter, who does what she wants when she wants. You've seen it all before and it's as poorly-written here as it has been in Perry's movie forever. The messages are simplistic. The cast is ok at best. Perry is good as Made and Uncle Joe, but the fact of the matter is that the shtick is getting old. He's been doing this character since 1999, when Madea debuted in a play. That's TWENTY years of the character. Twelve years on film. At some point, the character is gonna start to wear thin, if it hasn't already. And there's not much room for the character to grow considering that Perry has already established her traits and any variation from that will alienate his fanbase. I'd say that at this point in Tyler's career, he turns 48 in September, there's no hope for him to actually improve. And I don't think he even wants to get better. He's found what he's successful at and he's gonna keep milking that cow until he doesn't want any more money. And I don't mean just Madea, he's just found what his fans like, whether it's Madea-related or not, and all he has to do is keep pandering to that. The fact that he's still massively successful, despite operating in his own little bubble without actually expanding, is a testament to that. And all the more power to him, I don't begrudge him his success at all. It's just the fact that I wish he'd put more of an effort into telling great stories as opposed to the stories that his fans want to see out of him. But, as they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And this movie is the perfect example of that, it follows the same formula Perry has employed for over a decade. You know the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That doesn't apply to Perry. He knows he makes crappy movies. This one is no different. Only watch if you're a hardcore Perry fan. Non-converted audiences will see just another crappy Tyler Perry movie, so don't watch.
Tyler Perry is an industry unto himself, and the face of that industry is his matriarchal force of nature, Madea, the trash-talking, advice-giving woman of fear and esteem. I don't know if I'll ever truly enjoy Perry's Madea movies, and I fully admit being outside the target audience, but I think I'm coming around on the Madea character and in particular Perry's broad comic performances. Boo! A Madea Halloween is a flimsy excuse to re-introduce Madea and her elderly gang of colorful cohorts, including her gruff brother Joe (also played by Perry). The movie seems to barely have enough plot at all, aimlessly revolving around Madea babysitting a pair of teen girls on Halloween and thwarting them from going over to a nearby fraternity party. There's perhaps a 10-15 minute segment that just... keeps... going involving Madea and her friends literally advising a weak-willed father (also Perry) to enforce discipline and beat his child. As a writer, Perry relies too heavily on transparently expository writing in between his funny. The story keeps circling around on itself, stretching the improv jags with diminished returns and needing more comic set pieces for a 100-minute running time that could clearly be trimmed. Perry directs his actors much like his plays as they go for broke, playing to the rafters. However, Perry as actor, especially as Joe and Madea, is an enjoyable and quite credible comic performer who definitely displays surefire instincts. I found myself laughing enough even during the more aimless lulls in conversation. The plot doesn't have to be David Mamet when you just unleash Madea on others. I appreciated that she's a moral authority who is also shamelessly irreligious and hypocritical. The character manages to beat down some of Perry's more misogynistic and moralizing tendencies as a writer. Her former stripper past comes out in entertaining ways like trying to stop herself dancing during a hip-hop track at the frat party. The conflicting physicality on display in the scene is terrific. Boo! A Madea Halloween is going to be candy for its intended audience, and for those willing to push through the expected negative reviews, you might find enough moments to enjoy. I'm not going to say I'm on Team Madea but I wouldn't necessarily mind more of this matron run amok.
Nate's Grade: C
Tyler Perry really went cheap with this
This Halloween, please do us a favor. Do not watch this movie. In fact, don't even make a sneaky attempt to watch this movie at all. Just don't even think about it. Forget it exists and move on with your life. Tyler Perry should be ashamed for making this film high-budget.
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