Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

So in this movie ‘Madea’s Witness Protection’ Old Joe says “I remember... there was three of you. Blanche… Rose… Dorothy…” and nobody in the theater got the joke. It was a ‘Golden Girls’ reference, come on ya’ll. So I stand up in the theater and yell out… ‘It’s a Golden Girl reference people! Come on! Help me to help you to help Tyler!’ Normally when you stand up and yell out in the theater the ushers ask you to leave, but this was a Madea movie and everybody was talking to each other anyway, so it’s all good. I sure hope that angry Black dude who sends me nasty emails, the one who hasn’t figured out that I’m Black too, doesn’t read this otherwise I can expect some more angry emails about how white people like me making comments like that give white people a bad name.

Anyway, it’s a Madea movie, it’s review proof, but we’re going to do this anyway because we have space to fill.

George Needleman (Eugene Levy) is the CFO of some huge financial firm that has just jobbed their investors of 600 million and left George holding the bag. George had no idea this was going on, which not only makes him the worst CFO ever but also makes him kind of dumb. Worst still is that this firm was laundering money for a mob family and if George testifies against these guys, he’s toast. Fortunately Bryan (Tyler Perry) is now in the district attorney’s office and he's handling the case. The Needleman’s, which also include George’s wife Kate (Denise Richards), his son Howie (Devan Leos), his bratty daughter Cindy (Danielle Campbell) and his mom Barbara (Doris Roberts) need a place to hide out but the usual set of safe houses is compromised so where is Bryan going to put these people? At Madea’s house. Duh. Who doesn’t put federal witnesses at their aunties houses?

As you might imagine mayhem and hijinks are the order of the day for Madea’s new house guests with these New Yorkers not knowing how things work in Georgia. They

sleep late, they don’t like pork, George’s mom says all kinds of inappropriate stuff at inappropriate times… These New Yorkers are a mess, and they were a mess even before George was facing life in prison for a Ponzi scheme. The daughter is disrespectful, mean and nasty but Madea fixes all of that. The boy is goofy and lacking in the athletic department but Uncle Joe fixes that. There’s a little subplot about a young man (Romeo) who invested the church money with Needleman’s company and subsequently lost all that money, but thanks to Whoopi Goldberg and ‘Ghosts’… because inventing your own cockamamie plan to get that money back would be too difficult… it will all be fixed. Yay.

I’m not going to sit here and crap all over Tyler Perry cross dressing his way to untold riches as Madea. What purpose would that serve? I know CNN Pop Culturalist Toure rudely termed Tyler Perry’s movies as ‘Cinematic Malt Liquor’ but the man only has one name which is the height of pretension, so can we really listen to anything he has to say? Besides I think Madea is funny.

That’s not to say that ‘Madea’s Witness Protection’ is a good movie, because it’s really not a good movie. It’s not even close to a good movie by the definition of things that make a movie good such as a vaguely semi-cognizant narrative, great acting and characters you can relate too. I mean it is funny and if Mr. Perry had thrown out this completely ridiculous ponzi plot he semi-dreamed up, because a good portion of this plot resolution he unabashedly snatched from ‘Ghosts’, and maybe just called the movie ‘Madea Catches a Plane’ and kept all the action at the Hartsfield-Jackson terminal then the movie probably would’ve been even funnier. But no, we have family drama to deal with, bratty teenagers, dim-witted bosses, plot point insertions which make very little sense even in Madea’s imaginary world and all other kinds of superfluous nonsense.

But love him or hate him Tyler Perry knows how to play up Medea and he knows how to play up Uncle Joe for maximum comedic effect. When he steps outside of the makeup he still doesn’t look all that comfortable in his own skin, which does have us a little concerned when he steps in Morgan Freeman’s virtual size 22’s and takes on Alex Cross later this year, but that’s a discussion for another day. But as far as ‘Madea’s Witness Protection’ is concerned, it is what it is. A movie that’s bound to make you laugh in between clubbing you over the head with its heavy handed messaging. Business as usual.

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