Koutchboom’s Adventures In Terrible Comedy – Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes To Jail
So continues my adventure toward the depths of the human condition and just how low one will go for a laugh. I’m usually willing to go very low but if you are going to make a funny movie, please make sure your movie actually falls into the comedy section of the video rental store.
TYLER PERRY, what can you say about one of the few directors of recent to make himself a brand name. The last director to really do so was Michael Knight Shyamalan, Tyler Perry is a bit more of a made man then Mr. Shyamalan. In that he has his own studio and is able to pop out a new film every couple of months for relatively cheap and reap the huge rewards. What is odd is that he has become sort of a upfront weekend warrior sort of director, in that he relies on his films to make all their money opening weekend, something you don’t see often for these type of films. I’ve seen roughly half of a Tyler Perry before tackling Madea Goes To Jail, his movies always seemed a little too schmaltzy for my taste (but I do want to see Why Did I Get Married, which I’ve heard is his best). Also while I’ve never hated the idea of another black actor doing a fat old lady gag, I found it terribly boring. That being said there was not enough of said black actor in fat old lady suit in this film.
This movie probably shouldn’t even be in this list because it is barely a comedy. It is only a comedy when the title character Medea is on the screen and surprise surprise she has maybe the least amount of screen time next to all the other principles. Also the whole aspect of her going to jail only makes up barely the last 15 or so minutes of the film. My biggest issue with this film is that it is not Medea’s movie, which I was hoping it would be. I mean the credits start out showing her history of going to jail all her life, then her at her recent court case, but next it quickly turns into this drama about a hot shot lawyer helping out a now drugged out prostitute he used to hang out with in college because they were from the same hood. See something bad happened to her and he sort of let it happen and he feels a need to make up for it.
This movie just didn’t know what it wanted to be, it doesn’t mix well enough to be called a dramady, in fact the two separate story lines Madea and this lawyer barely cross paths. It felt like two different movies squashed together, and there isn’t enough of either story for either of them to have a reason for existing. It was such a terrible contrast because the lawyer movie plays out like a overly seriously movie of the week/after school special about drugs and prostitutes, while Madea’s story line is just a bunch of nonsense. Had the lawyer story line been a little lighter and at least made some attempt at being funny maybe this could have worked, but probably not.
This was just a awful movie all around, make me wonder about the love for Tyler Perry. I mean his Medea character is pretty funny in the stuff she says. She’s interesting because she does whatever she wants to do, but even in her movie she feels like an after thought. Also Tyler needs a stronger editor, someone to tell him when a scene just needs to end, there is so much filler in this movie where scenes just go on and on. Also Perry as an actor is better then the rest of his cast, when he’s Madea it is like the rest of the cast can’t keep up with him. There was a scene (probably made just to make Orpah happy) between Dr. Phill and Medea, it is painfully obvious that Dr. Phill can’t keep up with Tyler in this scene that it is sad, then over the credits they play the directors cut of that scene. Parts of it are pretty funny, a better editor would have whittled that scene down and it could’ve been a funny cameo scene.
Even the drama aspects are weak. SO! SO! cliché, it wasn’t even fun and the melodramatic acting from Derek Luke would bring shame to Denzel Washington for discovering him. Keshia Knight Pulliam and Ion Overman play their roles like they are in a sitcom. Vanessa Ferlito and Sofía Vergara play their respective parts like it is a giant joke. Sofía is some serial killer who shares a prison cell with Madea and it is so silly and lame.
I knew the film was not going to that good going in, but I didn’t think it was be this amateur feeling. Maybe Tyler needs to back off directing all his movies and become more of a producer/writer, every director needs to learn from Luc Besson. Also if you’ve never seen it there was recently a Boondocks episode about Tyler Perry that was hysterical, if you don’t know what The Boondocks are well they are doing topical satire humor right now that is probably better then South Park or Family Guy ever did it.
As for fat suit comdies, over $2 billion in sales and counting, they are going no where.