Title: Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection
Director: Uh, Tyler Perry
Without going overboard on the plot that’s as tired as the titular’s character’s breasts, after four editions of Tyler Perry’s Madea chronicles, it is what it is. That being said, it is bad.
Unless you’re a die-hard fan of this franchise, Madea’s Witness Protection is 114 minutes of what looks to be a rush-job in slow-motion. The loyal may scoff at that, but deep down inside, they know they were forcing out the laughs this time around.
The story places Wall Street banker, Eugene Levy, in the center of a Ponzi scheme. He was the fall guy, and is instructed by federal investigators and the attorney general’s office to go into hiding until the trial is over. The lead attorney (played by Tyler Perry) sets up Levy, his wife (Denise Richards), their two kids (Danielle Campbell and Devan Leos), and his flaky elderly mother (Doris Roberts) to stay with his Aunt Madea (also played by Tyler Perry) at her humble southern home.
While yours truly has never made a feature film, this desperately needed a crisp edit. If writer/director Tyler Perry purposely wanted to extended scenes, he really should have provided much better dialogue for the game cast. By doing so, this wouldn’t have felt like a pointless sermon from a drunken priest. And maybe, just maybe, this could have been blessed with more laughs. And by more laughs, I mean more than three subtle “Ha’s.”
Look, when you’re sitting there watching the formulaic script barely go through the motions, and the only highlights are noticing that Danielle Campbell may possibly have a bright future, and old Joe (again, played by Tyler Perry in Nutty Professor-like costuming) delivering a few funny lines, then something is amiss. Mind you, Tyler Perry doesn’t shove the Madea character down our throats. In fact, she seems reigned in…and that may be part of the problem. However, as already mentioned, the written dialogue gives the performers seldom to work with and the same can be said for the plot points that feel trivial and uninspired.
Overall, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection is trying to be something it should not. Perry attempts to make this too casual and throws way too many ingredients into the pot. What ends up happening is that the areas which needed more cultivating end up getting hung out to dry while the others were just simply not necessary. The only reprieve this product gets is if the studio publically comes out and says we shipped the rough draft to theaters.