Tyler Perry is a strange force. He makes pretty a big profit off of his movies, and yet he is hated by almost any white person who gets a glimpse at his movies. I’ll admit, I was one of those. Judged every Madea movie saying, “Oh, there’s another crappy Tyler Perry movie”. But in reality, I have never really seen a Tyler Perry movie. I have seen Good Deeds, but that was very melodrama compared to his usual niche with comedy seemingly directed towards the black community.
But after doing a little research, I have come to find some sort of insight into what makes Tyler Perry unique. That insight comes in the form of BAD writer, Sam Strange and his, well, strange obsession with Perry. After looking into his articles about why he loves TP, I went in to his latest movie, Madea’s Witness Protection, a little more open minded.
Madea’s Witness Protection doesn’t seem to be in the realm of some of his other movies, as for the fact that most of the main cast is white.
George Needleman (Eugene Levy) was a successful and hardworking CFO for a big charity business. He had a big house and a somewhat happy family. That all changed in an instant when he goes to work and everyone is shredding papers and in a panic. His boss Walter (Tom Arnold) tells him that the company is going down because of some Ponzi scheme set up by the mob fell through and he was specifically hired to his position to take the blame when that inevitably happens.
Crushed and at a loss for words, George didn’t know what to do. He did not know about this and no signs were shown that this was happening. He went back to his home with his wife Kate (Denise Richards) and broke the news to her.
After being threatened by the mob, the government helps the Needleman’s out by putting them in the witness protection plan. FBI agent Brian (I forgot the rest of his name, but he’s played by regular Tyler Perry) knows the only place that a family of white people can be safe: Living with his aunt Madea (Tyler Perry in drag) and his dad Joe (old Tyler Perry).
So when the family moves, Madea swiftly whips them into shape and makes them follow her house rules.
The rest of the movie is spent with George trying to find evidence that will help him and Madea teaching his family to respect one another.
Witness Protection’s plot is rather strange. It just sort of coasts through the entirety with no major ups or downs. The only low parts are when Romeo’s character struggles to find money for his church. Other than that, it’s purely happenings at the house and little developments in George’s case.
What makes Perry crazy are the characters he plays. Of course, there’s Madea: A short tempered big black “lady” who likes to have things her way unless she was persuaded otherwise. It really is a shallow representation of a woman. Her motives are right there in front of your face and you know this. There isn’t anything hiding from you. But why should there be? Madea is a big lady who talks trash all day, that’s all you need to know.
What is really crazy is the three way exchange between all three Perry characters. There is a scene where Brian tries to convince Madea to take the family in. It goes between quick shots of Madea, Joe, and Brian all giving their reactions to what was said. Surprisingly, the weirdest one of the bunch was Brian. He is the one who most truly represents sanity and calmness in the movie, but when put together with his two other personas, he becomes really weird. It’s not that he turns into a chatterbox when he is with them, but there’s this whole level of weirdness that comes out whenever he is around the two. Maybe it something that is present in previous movies.
Apart from Tyler Perry, the rest of the cast pulls of a somewhat annoying performance. Eugene Levy is subject to making weird high pitched whimpering sounds and Tom Arnold (for the 3 minutes he was in) managed to keep his title as king douchebag.
Doris Roberts in in the movie and she plays a poorly acted semi-senile mother to George. Her purpose is very little, only to shed light on a plot deviation that was never confirmed.
Danielle Campbell and Devan Leos play the two kids. Campbell plays the snotty teenager who shits on anything that doesn’t have wifi. Leos is the fat insecure boy who never gets any attention from his father.
And Denise Richards plays Kate, who is trying to be stepmom to the kids but is often resented by the little bitch. Her role is mainly to play the weak mother that Madea encourages to man up and take control.
The cast seemed pretty weak and there really wasn’t any chemistry going on besides Perry and himself.
As far as laughs, nothing seemed to strike me as hilarious or even funny. That didn’t keep me from being slightly entertained though. I find it interesting to see how far someone can take a role that is so awfully tasteless and dumb. Perry has a strange chemistry with himself. When he plays multiple characters in a scene, it gets crazy.
Overall, Tyler Perry is weird. Despite a weak script and cast, he still finds something to entertain. Madea is a part of Perry whether he likes it or not. While Madea can be highly annoying, there is still something about it that works and he manages to get interesting results out of a situation that shouldn’t end up that way. To sum it up, it isn’t awful. It just not that great.
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection – 6/10