Movie Review: 'Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail'

Movie Review: 'Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail'

Summary: After an epic long rap sheet, Madea is finally locked up.

Published February 20, 2009

madeagoestojailSummary : After an epic long rap sheet, Madea is finally locked up. Somewhere in between, a drug-addicted prostitute needs to be rescued by her former college classmate, who is now a successful lawyer.

Review : Tyler Perry 's most talented piece of work is the creation of Madea. Sure, a 6'4" dude in drag with big bosoms is a guaranteed cackle, but Tyler does manage to make the old broad enjoyable. Regardless of the politics, Madea is hilarious, witty and a presence that exists in many households. When Perry sticks with Madea he find his niche and redeems his movie making flaws. Madea doesn't go to church, she carries a gun and has a mouth like a sailor—she is the antithesis of the moralistic soapbox Perry's movies stand on, which is why she is usually the only enjoyable ingredient in his films.

”Madea Goes to Jail” starts strong with hilarious mug shots, a court scene and one-liners that had to have been adlibbed. Perry is so convincing as Madea that you don't see any remains of the stocky director who went from the chitlen circuit to Hollywood. Just when Perry might have a home run, he makes a left turn by turning a good comedy into a soap opera. For example, Keshia Knight Pulliam 's character, Candy, a drug addicted prostitute who was once a college student. Her former classmate, Derek Luke , and a minister, played by Oscar nominee Viola Davis , are trying to rescue Candy. The Huxtable kid delivered a great performance, Derek Luke is consistently superb and Viola Davis could read the menu at Red Lobster's and be brilliant.

Regardless, this melodramatic storyline felt like an entirely different film and never ties together with “Madea Goes to Jail.” It takes about an hour for Madea to actually get in jail. A full twenty minutes goes by with no Madea. Unfortunately, the drug addict/minister/soon-to-be husband/secretive fiancé premise drags.

With all that said, “Madea Goes to Jail" isn't a bad movie, but it could've been a truly enjoyable film if Perry didn't take so many extracurricular activities in the script. The scene with Dr. Phil is hilarious, there are some great cameos and Perry is consistently strong with his Madea character. The film should've been more Madea and less everything else.

"Madea Goes to Jail" is in theatres today.

Written by Clay Cane

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