Throughout Tyler Perry’s career of being a filmmaker, actor, writer, and mogul, he has given us melodramas, over the top characters, and some well-made films. Tyler Perry is returning to common ground with Madea appearing in a satire of a slasher film. His signature character has appeared in countless films showcasing her electric, sassy attitude. Perry explored how Madea would handle spooky Halloween nights with Boo! A Madea Halloween and is returning to that universe after the first one made a decent amount of movie, so why not.
On her 18th birthday, Tiffany is invited to another Halloween frat party thrown by the muscle heads of Upsilon Theta. The party is going to take place at Derrick Lake, a woodsy Friday the 13th inspired location where a handful of kids were murdered on a night in 1976. One of Tyler Perry’s characters Brian, the father of Tiffany, is trying to throw a classic birthday for his daughter despite her wishes. She sneaks off to Derrick Lake with her friends which results in a re-hashing of the first film.
I admire the characters Tyler Perry has created and have seen plenty of his previous films to become accustomed to his particular brand of humor. His foul-mouthed Uncle Joe character is eerily similar to my own grandfather, and Madea’s loud-mouthed humor compliments Uncle Joe. Last year’s Boo! A Madea Halloween was a train wreck of a film that offered way too much dialog that made scenes drag. I appreciated the humor in the film, but the storyline and execution are what ruined the film for me. After viewing Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, it’s clear that nothing has changed, and this feels just the same as the first one did.
Nothing about Boo 2! feels different from the first film. Brian is throwing his daughter a surprise birthday party and gives her headphones for her birthday while his ex-wife hands the keys over to a brand-new car. These few scenes lead to a long cringe-worthy conversation between Perry’s characters and their friends about birthday presents and randomly how Joe was a pimp in his younger days. To my surprise, these drawn out conversations also appear in the most inappropriately timed parts of the story, like while Madea is being chased by the spirits around Derrick Lake. These long conversations really ruin all the spooky scary moments of what could have been a fun film about an old lady fending off dead people in her beat up Cadillac.
Halloween parties are supposed to be fun with lots of music playing and energetic party-goers having fun. The Halloween party that was hyped up previously in every scene of this movie was so anticlimactic that it looked like no one was actually interested in being there. The party scene lasted for all of five minutes and then everyone left, ironically to set up the main characters being left alone in the woods. It doesn’t matter if the characters were left alone or not because there isn’t a halfway developed character amongst them to feel nervous for.
For this movie being a Halloween film, a lot of the beginning is used as a commentary on divorced families and how both the father and mother try to one up each other. The first half of the film is spent with Tiffany being a spoiled brat and Brian trying to relive the moments of her youth. By the end of the film, it feels like two completely different movies. One movie is a family drama and other is a lazy attempt at a Halloween film. I would have appreciated this movie more if the central focus would have been Madea and her friends getting scared and protecting themselves around Halloween night.
Apart from Joe’s overly salty attitude, this film is joyless and marks itself as one of Perry’s least satisfying films to date. I hope that Tyler Perry can come up with some new ideas to incorporate Madea into his films that really center around the sassy old lady that I have loved previously.
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Boo 2! A Madea Halloween runs 1 hour 41 minutes and is rated PG-13 for sexual references, drug content, language and some horror images.