Cast: Tyler Perry, Cassi Davis, Patrice Lovely, Mike Tyson
Director: Tyler Perry
Honestly it’s borderline pathetic at this point. Tyler Perry has been doing these films for over a decade and there’s very little about that’s artistically valuable. You’d think at some point during the 10 movies about this character that something would change to make them better, but with the amount of money they bring in for the amount of effort they require, why bother? This movie was filmed over the course of one week, and you tell as there’s no sense that any sort of care was put into this movie. Poorly written, acted, and unfunny, A Madea Family Funeral should easily end up as an early contender for worst film of 2019.
The film continues to follow Madea (Perry) and her elderly friends as they attend the anniversary party for one of Madea’s family members. When one of her family members suddenly passes, the family turns a jovial occasion into a somber one as they have to plan out funeral arrangements, but Madea and her wacky antics and quips once again make things difficult for the family and serves as a catalyst for the rest of the plot. There are three main problems I have with this movie. The first has to do with the way the comedy is used in this film. The issue here is that besides the humor being predominantly unfunny and juvenile, the comedic scenes last way too long and drain any positive energy out of the movie. For example, there’s a scene where Madea is in a car that gets pulled over and there’s a discussion and series of actions about police brutality. This scene drags on and feels way longer than it ever should. My initial feelings to this scene were, “ok that was kind of funny, ok, ok this getting a little old, ok come on let’s wrap this up, Jesus Christ will you just the scene already.” If this was the only time it occurred then I would let it slide as just a scene that didn’t land, but literally every single theme or sequence has the exact same problem. As the film progresses, I’m far less lenient on this type of issue as it gets old very quickly. Outside of the comedy, much of this film is incredibly mean-spirited and the characters are very unlikable. Much of the story involves various family members cheating on their significant others with the backdrop of a funeral, so in a situation where we should be empathizing with grieving characters, we end up disgusted with most of these character’s behavior. On top of this, Madea and her friends routinely make insensitive comments to anyone who will listen to them. I understand that humor usually comes at someone’s expense, but it just comes across as tasteless more than anything. Finally, in the final act, the film undergoes a tone shift and changes from a comedy with tragic elements to a straight up family drama about life and relationships. The thing about this is there’s no real foundation for the film to make this shift and the objective comes across as cheap and disingenuous. It’s almost disrespectful to the viewers to make them think this movie will magically have a deeper purpose, as everyone knew the deal before they walked into the theater. You can’t spend 80-90 minutes making immature and low-brow humor and then turn so suddenly and expect us to care about your message. Perry knows what his audience wants at this point and maybe this is what they like, but to an outsider looking in, it seems more exploitative than anything.
Overall, I’ve never had super high expectations for the Madea movies, but for a final send off, A Madea Family Funeral fails to deliver on even the lowest of expectations. Maybe superfans of the series will enjoy it, but anyone else will probably just end up feeling annoyed. The ironic part about this whole series ending on at a funeral is that after 14 long, painful years, these films are the only thing that I’m happy we’re burying.
Overall Score: 1.5/10