Rated PG-13, 2 1/2 pumpkins (out of 4)
Madea is back on the big screen in her eight big screen adventure, “Boo! A Madea Halloween”, and in the films opening weekend, the comedy horror outing came in a surprising number one. Tyler Perry’s latest effort is the second in the film series not to be adapted from a stage play, and features the grumpy but lovable character stealing the film from the other actors. The story involves the character of Brian (Perry), a divorced dad, catching his daughter Tiffany (Diamond White) flirting with some locals at a nearby frat house, and securing an invitation to the Fraternity’s upcoming Halloween party. This does not sit well with Brian, who calls Madea (Perry) to sit with his daughter, and her best friend Aday (Liza Koshy), and keep them in the house while he is away. Madea brings along her cousin Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis), and friend Hattie Mae (Patrice Lovely). For good measure Uncle Joe Simmons (Perry) comes along as well. The house “visitors” does not sit well with Tiffany, and she devises a plan so she and Aday can sneak out of the house to the frat party. Tiffany’s plan succeeds until Madea discovers the girls have slipped out of the house and proceeds to take a trip to the Halloween party to bring the wayward girl back home. Of course, upon entering the frat house, Madea is met by fraternity president Jonathan (Yousef Erakat), who tells the upset intruder he knows nothing about Tiffany. At this point, Madea is full on mad and is making progress until the frat boys literally throw her out of the party. The aforementioned action sets off a chain of events that result in Madea and crew having a harrowing Halloween night. During all the Halloween chills and pranks, there are lessons learned by both the young people and the adults. As expected, the film ends, albeit abruptly, on a positive note. The character of Madea has been around for so long it feel like she is a long lost relative to movie fans. Perry was certainly busy during the making of this new film as not only did he play three characters, but he wrote, directed and co-produced the film. Whew. While the film was a fun way to celebrate during the Halloween season, I did have a couple of problems with this effort. I feel if you are trying to appeal to a broader audience, including younger children, there could have been a bit less profanity, as the great messages in the film could still have been delivered effectively with fewer curse words. The other issue I had, was I felt the film could have delivered more “belly” laughs. This is the type of film that is definitely over-the-top, and at times silly, and for those very reasons I hoped for more laughs. Don’t get me wrong, just the site of Madea running with certain body parts flapping about, provides plenty of laughs, just more of those types of moments were needed. Overall, while “Boo! A Madea Halloween” was a fun time at the movies, I just hope if the character has another Halloween themed film, the script is better than a half-carved pumpkin.