Movie Review: Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail

>> Thursday, March 12, 2009

Because I'm so black, I went to see Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail the same day with Watchmen. I've seen pretty much all the Tyler Perry movies and some DVDs of his plays. His portrayal of Madea (or Mabel Simmons) stands out. I guess deep down some of us just wanted to be a strong black women who would have the courage to say what's on her mind without the fear of retributions.

But there are retributions... After one too many little incidents provoked by Madea's "get even" mentality, she was sent to jail for 5 to 10 years. Apparently, Madea had a pretty big record from her days as a stripper and her reckless attempted murder ways. At the same time, engaged assistant district attorney Joshua landed on a case to convict a prostitute who happened to be his childhood sweetheart while his fiancee Linda tries to pry him away from her.

The thing about Tyler Perry movies is that there's always a moral to the story. There's also an obvious villain. It is obviously not Madea, she's a straight shooter who accomplishes outrageous acts to provide comic effects. But in this film, we don't see enough of Madea while the drama, the dread and the lecture outweighs its entertainment values, you can say it's a bit too preachy. Maybe Tyler Perry is going for the ever popular sermon style, but the problem seems to be that every twist and turn was expected and not out of the box and spontaneous which is the reason why we love Madea as a character in the first place. It seems to be a shame for someone who's so good at drag to be so reserved in directing.

Although the ending couldn't be as heartwarming as his other films, I'd still recommend it for rental. The big screen is a bit too big for this particular story. It did pretty good in the box office though, it had been #1 for 2 weeks prior to Watchmen. C

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