Please put this character out of her misery.
Synopsis: A joyous family reunion becomes a hilarious nightmare as Madea and the crew travel to backwoods Georgia, where they find themselves unexpectedly planning a funeral that might unveil unsavory family secrets. (IMDB)
Starring: Tyler Perry, Cassi Davis, and Patrice Lovely
Writer: Tyler Perry
Director: Tyler Perry
Rating: 14A (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)
Running Time: 109mins
Now 12 films in (one of those being a cameo), we pretty much have gone as far as we can go with Tyler Perry’s oversaturated character of Madea. Despite appearing in so many successful films (for whatever reason), the feisty elderly black woman is definitely an acquired taste. Viewers who enjoy her really enjoy her (hence the success) and those who don’t really don’t. Suffice it to say, the character’s polarizing nature hasn’t affected her and her many films whatsoever. With A Madea Family Funeral, supposedly Madea’s last film, will not change any minds.
As far as this series is concerned, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, as it relies on the same tropes that they have used to death (pun intended) several times before. The problem with them this time around, just like all the other times before, they simply were not funny at all. What would differentiate this film from the last few in the series, they would pretty much take a backseat to plenty of drama and soap opera level melodrama. The problem with that was that the three did not fit together whatsoever as the tone was all over the place.
The drama would involve a funeral in which the film’s title alluded to which would only add to the dysfunction that was already there. That dysfunction would devolve into soap opera level melodrama for a few of the family members. The problem was that watching it all play out was incredibly dull and made the film around 10 minutes longer than it needed to be. In addition to that, it was just hard to care about any of the characters or the story. Being Madea’s final film, the lack of Madea screen time was a little disappointing.
Everything about the film felt lazy, uninspired, and for the most part lifeless, from the script to the direction. Filmed in just under a week (source), the lack of care was evident. If the filmmakers don’t care then why should we? The film as a whole would be a chore to watch though was at its best whenever it focused on Madea which did not happen nearly enough as mentioned. Most of the wisecracking dialogue here is incredibly dated but a few of her lines were admittedly funny.
With the subpar material and direction at play here, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the acting would take some sort of hit and this was the case here. Perry’s multi-character performance, which would include a new character (an offensive and cringe-worthy amputee Vietnam War veteran), was okay for the most part though he clearly fared the best as Madea. His performance as Madea would bring energy to what was a near-lifeless story. Her humor didn’t fit with the rest of the film but she still managed to be somewhat entertaining.
Overall, A Madea Family Funeral was a lazy and unbearable mess of a comedy shoehorned in with drama and soapy melodrama, a combination that would prove to be a massive failure. The same shtick returned this time around since if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. However, it failed for the most part here just like it had done several times before. This laziness would permeate the dull and uninteresting story, struggling whenever it moved away from Madea which would be more often than you think considering this is supposed to be her final film. Please let this be the last one.