Another Madea film will cost me a fortune. After Madea’s Witness Protection today, wife has taken all my money and is doing laps of the shops at the airport. Betting – whose idea was that?
If you thought Tyler Perry still had anything left in his tank, this sums up all the free advice you can get. Don’t go betting on a TP film, it will cost you; especially not with loved ones – you’ll hate what they do to your purse.
Madea’s Witness Protection was not only a flop; it was just uncanny. If indeed Tyler Perry has anything artistically left, or any humor left in him, it is certainly not in this rendition of Madea. Sometimes, I pity the benevolence showered on him by his black audiences; a $33M rake in at the box office is quite an aberration of the reality that befell me at the theater.
The Madea series is fast becoming a bore, only relying on past glories for comedic effect. When everyone in a theater laughs at everything in the beginning 3 minutes of a film, then shriek by the middle, only to snore towards the end, you know the glory days of Madea are fast treading a sooty path behind us!
Up until now, the discussion on the directorial prowess of Tyler Perry has rested on the premise that he was producing something uplifting, or that he was catering to a socio-cultural niche – sistas and brothas – and this has widely been acceptable for some of us. Exactly how many feature films are made just for us, or yet, with us in mind?
But now, Tyler Perry seems to have hearkened to calls for his work to be enjoyed by all, regardless of whether you are a sista or brotha. So goes the idea behind Madea’s Witness Protection. Cool, perhaps, so long us the niche that propelled Tyler Perry into fame is not largely ignored and deserted now.
I abhor the mentality for one reason. No one else is making feature films with realistic black characters or stories, no one is making films that are even acceptable representations of blackness let alone honest comedies about black people in America. Hence to the many black audiences, especially the large black audiences that TP has since catered to, without a Tyler Perry Production a year, there’ll actually not be any thing in the theater for them.
Why does TP jump ship – clutching at the chance to compromise – for the sake of white audiences? Black money is not enough? Relegating the box office contributions by folks to chump change? About ten minutes into Madea’s Witness Protection and you were wondering if you had purchased the right ticket. Is this a black film? Where is Madea?
I hope this remains the first and last of where TP is taking his production company. But, very soon, I shall not be surprised to have the singular pleasure of seeing Kim Kardashian in the next TP movie, despite calls by his Christian fans to drop the public adulterer and pill popper; who’s not even an actress! What’s worse, some 16,000 cultured black people had to stand in line so that one of them could be selected to show up on a TP set. Darmirra Brunson should be excited but she needn’t have to ride on a TP luck for her kinda talent!
So next time you bet your purse on Madea, leverage it – bet against it too – maybe an extra movie ticket for later, just in case!
Writer: Tyler Perry (screenplay)
Stars: Tyler Perry, Eugene Levy and Denise Richards