A Madea Family Funeral
In A Madea Family Funeral, jack of all trades Tyler Perry serves up the same old Madea & Co. shenanigans with a different moral lesson — or at least a new-ish spin on tried and true material.
The latest excuse for the writer/director/actor/executive producer to pull out his makeup kit and geriatric wardrobe is a 40th wedding anniversary celebration, hosted by family members who seemingly exist in the real world.
Into this grounded universe comes the nutty, non-PC retiree quartet of Madea (Perry), Joe (Perry), Hattie (Patrice Lovely), and Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis), whose exaggerated behavior is accompanied by Joe’s son Brian (Perry), a non-cartoon who tries and fails to add a level of normalcy to his kin’s antics.
As usual, Perry throws so much content at the proverbial wall that certain things — typically a stray musing by Madea or Joe — can’t help but stick, though the scattered successes feel haphazard and the barrage of attempts at humor and the high percentage of failure is borderline exhausting.
Amidst this amateur circus is the filmmaker’s sadly predictable gay-bashing, an appropriately overlong — though hardly funny — skewering of the lengthy time commitment of African-American memorial services, and rote infidelity from characters so indiscernible that it’s not worth the effort to list their names and the actors who portray them.
Troubling still is an incredibly awkward, borderline insulting take on police brutality that results in more questions than answers besides “White people are crazy.” Wrapping up with a similarly worrisome cameo by a convicted rapist, A Madea Family Funeral cements its status as a clueless dud and makes one hope that Perry’s threats of retiring his most financially lucrative character prove true.
Grade: D-plus. Rated PG-13. Now playing at AMC Classic, Biltmore Grande, and Carolina Cinemark