Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

boo2-a-madea-rev Boo 2! A Madea Halloween  (2017)    Lionsgate/Comedy-Horror    RT: 101 minutes    Rated PG-13 (sexual references, drug content, language, some horror images)    Director: Tyler Perry    Screenplay: Tyler Perry    Music: Christopher Lennertz    Cinematography: Richard Vialet    Release date: October 20, 2017 (US)    Cast: Tyler Perry, Cassi Davis, Patrice Lovely, Chandra Currelley, Yousef Erakat, Diamond White, Lexy Panterra, Andre Hall, Brock O’Hurn, Tito Ortiz, Taja V. Simpson, Inanna Sarkis, Hannah Stocking, Mike Tornabene, J.C. Caylen, Akende Munalula.

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 Let me begin with an observation. The official title of Madea’s latest outing is Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween which strikes me as redundant. Whenever you see “Madea” in the title, the “Tyler Perry’s” part is understood. Wouldn’t you agree?

 ANYWAY, the first Madea Halloween movie was shot in just six days. I’m not sure what the big rush was but it made for a rather sloppy movie that still managed to turn a tidy profit at the box office last October. I don’t know if writer-director Perry did the same thing with Boo 2! A Madea Halloween. The sequel has many of the same problems as its predecessor and a few new ones. I’m not going to pull any punches here; it’s essentially a rehash of the first movie. It recycles the uptight father-rebellious teenage daughter plotline with Tiffany (R&B singer White) sneaking to a frat party against the wishes of her well-meaning but ineffectual dad Brian (Perry). Didn’t this girl learn her lesson the last time she did this? Apparently not. Good thing Madea and her gray-haired posse are on hand to whup ass and set things straight.

boo two Not a whole lot has changed in a year. Tiffany is still an arrogant, disrespectful brat who doesn’t appreciate anything her father does for her. It’s her 18th birthday (funny they didn’t mention in the first movie that her birthday falls on the day before Halloween) and she’s angry because Dad didn’t give her a car. He doesn’t think she’s responsible enough. That’s when Mom (Simpson) pulls up and hands her daughter a set of keys. Brian’s ex is a spiteful sort who’s always looking to undermine him in front of their children. Tiffany uses this as a means of getting her mother’s permission to attend a frat party at Camp Derrick where fourteen young people were slaughtered twenty years earlier. Because of everything that transpired last year, the frat is no longer allowed to host their annual Halloween party at their house. Why not a cursed campground?

 So where does Madea come into it? Exactly where you expect. She and her cronies- Bam (Davis), Hattie (Lovely) and Joe (Perry)- are waiting in the living room when Brian gets home to offer up unsolicited parenting advice and crude remarks from Joe about his pimping days. Some of it is amusing but the scene goes on way too long. Meanwhile, Tiffany and her friend Gabriella (Sarkis) drive straight to the frat house to secure an invite for this year’s Halloween festivities. It’s same group of college d-bags as before. They have only one thing on their minds and it’s not academics (although an argument can be made for biology). The guys reluctantly give Tiffany the details and she heads of to Camp Derrick with good girl Gabriella and air-headed Leah (Panterra) in tow. Not long after, Madea and company hit the road to spoil Tiffany’s fun and maybe teach her a lesson or two.

 I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t find Boo 2! A Madea Halloween funny. I laughed quite a few times but it was hollow laughter. I know it’s supposed to be funny and I generally like Madea but this one feels like stale leftover candy from last Halloween. It’s unoriginal and only semi-inspired. I like how Perry gives slasher flicks a shout-out by incorporating various tropes of the genre. One of the “killers” looks like the killer from 1981’s The Prowler. How’s that for obscure? He also gives us a chainsaw wielding maniac and a girl that looks like Samara from The Ring. If Perry had gone all the way with the slasher movie angle, he might have had something. It would be a riot to see how take-no-crap Madea handles a mad slasher. Instead of kicking ass, she and her crew spend most of the movie’s running time in the car bickering, shouting and screaming. Their tendency to get loud and shrill is really noticeable this time out.

 The acting is about what you’d expect from a Tyler Perry movie. The man can’t act when he’s not wearing a dress and/or old age makeup. He’s funny as Madea and Joe but as Brian, he’s a stiff. I guess White does a good job as Tiffany seeing as how I wanted to see Madea (or anybody for that matter) smack her upside her head. She’s what my sainted mother called “a rotten kid”. For the most part, there’s not a whole lot to say about this aspect of Boo 2! A Madea Halloween. It isn’t one of the movie’s strong suits. Perry still has a lot to learn about acting, getting good performances from his actors and making movies that don’t look as though they’ve been slapped together in a week.

 Even with its many flaws and faults, I have no doubt Boo 2! A Madea Halloween will make money. The audience I saw it with was really laughing it up. I had a funny thought as I watched it. The Madea movies are starting to look like Ernest movies. Will it be long before we get Madea Goes to Camp? She could be sentenced a community service as a counselor at a sleepover camp for at-risk youth and juvenile offenders. Imagine her shaping and molding youthful minds into a focused worldview while kicking their little butts. Can you see Madea in the woods? Quick, who has Tyler’s cell phone number?

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