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Tyler Perry’s 'Boo 2!' will have you on the floor laughing

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Tyler Perry first introduced Madea in 1999 during the Atlanta screening of “I Can Do Bad All by Myself.” It wasn’t his initial decision to play the character but after an actress fell through, he had to step in because the show must go on. Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween is the 14th studio movie where Perry worked as a director, producer, writer and actor. The original film, “Boo! A Madea Halloween,” recieved mixed reviews from critics and has a 21% on Rotten Tomatoes.  The comedy-horror sequel is on track to be a major hit for Halloween season with over 100 minutes of comedic genius coming from three characters all played by Perry himself.

The original movie, “Boo! A Madea Halloween” follows Tiffany Simmons (Diamond White), the 17-year-old daughter of Brian Simmons, a lawyer who is known for keeping Madea and the rest of their crazy family out of prison and Madea’s nephew, the son of her equally funny brother, Joe. Tiffany sneaks out of the house on the night of Halloween to go to a party at a fraternity house. The fun doesn’t last long when the police, Madea and Madea’s friends crash the party in search of Tiffany. As retaliation for attempting to shut the party down, Tiffany, along with the fraternity brothers, pull a series of pranks on Madea and her friends in a failed attempt to keep the party going.

Comparing “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” to its predecessor, the sequel did not have much to live up to. The original appeared as a failed attempt to put the Madea character back on the same pedestal she held during the mid-2000s. However, compared to classic Tyler Perry films like, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “Madea Goes to Jail” and “Madea’s Family Reunion,” it seemed impossible for Perry to return to the same heights as some of the biggest films to enter the black community.

Tyler Perry’s “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” super-exceeded my expectations of the Halloween-themed comedy. The plot seemed original and the final cliff-hanger left most of the audience laughing in tears. Perry’s excellent writing as well as his comedic portrayal of three characters throughout the film elevated the film to what I have always remembered a Madea film to be. His shot composition is something to take note of and his ability to capture three completely different characters, the vindictive and overactive Madea, the mild-tempered lawyer Brian and the rude, and often times heinous Joe, in one shot repeatedly throughout the film without any discomfort from the viewer is exceptional from a filmmaker’s standpoint.

The sequel definitely spent a lot of time developing the Joe character this time around. Joe has usually played a more minor role in Perry’s films, but this time, he felt more like a co-star to Madea. His brass and no f’s given personality was very lively and contributed to the majority of the comedy throughout the movie. However, his jokes were inappropriate in nature and pushed the boundaries of the PG-13 rating. Some parents may feel a little hesitant about watching this film with their child. Regardless, for the adults in the room, Joe’s character was a breath of fresh air for the film and his lines throughout the film seemed to blend in perfectly through each scene.

The interactions between Brian, Madea, Joe and Madea’s close friends, Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis) and Patrice Lovely’s excellent portrayal of the extremely funny Hattie, were very natural and Perry’s ability to film an entire 10 minute scene where three out of five characters are played by himself is extraordinary. This scene proves Perry’s genius as a director, and the editing resulted in each laugh line being delivered successfully.

I had the chance to speak briefly with Perry prior to the screening about the lack of drama in the Madea films and he explained how important laughter is to the community during a time where tensions are high in the current political and social climate.

“If you look at the things that went on with the Great Depression, the sadness...there was so many [people] who turned to the stage to encourage you and uplift you...an escape,” Perry said.

The Tyler Perry Halloween movie franchise serves a completely different population than his original Madea films. His previous films seemed very focused on the black church and how praising the lord is a solution to all problems faced by the black community. However, these newer films have taken an extremely different route and it is clear that Perry’s priority in filmmaking is more focused on entertainment than education. If you want to watch a Tyler Perry film without all of the preaching and teaching from the church, then “Boo 2!” will be a pleasant surprise.

With a networth of over $600 million (2017) as well as more projects in the making, it is clear that Perry and everyone’s favorite aunt Madea aren’t going anywhere, however, the surprise will be where we are going next.

Perry said that he’d like to see Madea enter the White House in the future and I am more than excited to see what she has to say about what is happening on Capitol Hill right now.

I asked what Madea’s first piece of legislation would be.

“Reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time,” said Perry in a perfect reenactment of the voice of Madea.

Tyler Perry’s “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” serves to encourage, uplift and have you on the floor in tears. If you are looking for a more genial option to the usual trick-or-trieating and haunted houses, or if you’re just a huge fan of Tyler Perry films, then I definitely suggest going to see this movie.

lfaulk@theeagleonline.com

"Boo 2!" was released October 20.


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