“Boo! A Madea Halloween” is the latest film from writer/director/producer/actor/put-my-name-on-everything Tyler Perry, and features Perry returning to dress in drag as everyone’s favorite sassy black woman. This time around Madea is called to keep an eye on a group of teenagers who want to sneak out to a party on Halloween.
It’s no secret Tyler Perry doesn’t set out to create art when he makes the Madea (or really any of his) films. Perry is undeniably talented (he stole “Gone Girl” and was the sole bright spot of the trainwreck that was this year’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” sequel) but he also knows if he has such a loyal fanbase that he can make a lowest-common-denominator film and people will still turn up. And I’m not saying “Boo!” is a good movie or even that it’s not a bad one; I’m just say for one reason or another, I had fun watching it.
This review will be pretty straightforward because it really comes down to how forgiving you’re willing to be of actual quality and just are looking for a fun moviegoing experience. My friend and I saw this right after “Jack Reacher” and this was by and far the most entertainment we had that night.
There aren’t too many *jokes* here, no one has ever accused Perry of writing clever dialogue, but the physical humor and over-the-top performances for the most part work.
Call me a child but seeing a large man in a dress and wig trip down stairs had me laughing, and with an audience that was equally invested it made for a great time.
There is also an actual sweet message about family and the importance of respect, as well as social commentary on how this generation’s parents have created a coddled youth.
Now while the trifecta of characters played by Perry are the highlight, others are hinder the film. Some are grating (one of Madea’s friends slurs her words and talks out the side of her mouth and it’s very annoying) and others are awkward (a frat full of stereotypical meatheads and a typical preacher’s daughter goody two shoes).
Look, I’m not saying “Boo! A Madea Halloween” is destined to become a holiday classic or even that it’s a good film (some scenes run for way too long, lending itself to an awkwardly paced runtime). But what I will say is my friend and I both had a goofy smile on our face through most of the film, and if that’s all you want then this may be worth a view.*
*in a crowded theater or next Halloween on DVD with friends and drinks
Critics Rating: 5/10