After taking a few dramatic roles in films like Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds and the recently released Alex Cross, director and star Tyler Perry figured it would be best to throw in a little more Madea into his filmography. After all she is his highest money maker and easily the best thing to come from his odd mind. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection plants itself firmly in the Madea canon as another laughable entry in a mostly harmless little series. It’s not going to win Perry any new fans, but it should satisfy the one’s he’s already managed to rustle up.
Hot shot Wall Street investment banker George Needleman (Eugene Levy) goes into work one day expecting another boring and event-less 9-5 scenario but ends up finding out that he’s a part of a large Ponzi scheme that has forced him into witness protection. Luckily for him a lawyer by the name of Brian (Tyler Perry) offers his assistance by suggesting that George and his family stay with his upbeat and spunky aunt Madea (Tyler Perry…again) until things blow over.
The rest goes down in similar fashion to other Tyler Perry films, with Madea reacting strangely and opening to the idea of a bunch of well-mannered white folks sharing a house with her and her sibling Joe (Tyler Perry once more). Director and star Tyler Perry shoots Witness Protection with a tighter focus on Madea and all of the comedy that ensues from her presence and that makes for a mostly harmless Tyler Perry film that holds up a lot better than some of his other films.
Witness Protection works better than some of his other Madea films because it cuts down on the church-going and religious subtext and instead focuses more on Madea’s wild situations that spill onto the lives of George, played mostly straight-faced by Eugene Levy and his family. Madea is such a fun character to be around, despite her loud mispronunciations and her need to resort to some of the dumbest African American stereotypes.
Still, only Perry can get away with the jokes that he does in Witness Protection and it’s reassuring to know that he doesn’t take himself all too serious and that his other attempts at drama are simply examples of him trying to step outside of his comfort zone and not him trying to drastically change his career from here on out.
It’s hard to come out and say that Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection is a good quality film, but at the same time I can’t completely disregard it, because it made me laugh and that’s all that I wanted.
Lionsgate’s 1080p video transfer has some great contrast as it divides itself between the business-oriented courtroom and fancy hotel scenes with the southern comfort of a nice warm home that Madea resides in. The colors are mostly sharp and warm, with some of the outdoor scenes appearing as washed up and lifeless in terms of color selection, but still properly defined and graded. I’d be surprised if any Tyler Perry fan cared too much about the actual picture quality of any of his films.
A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track almost feels like overkill for a Perry production, but the track whisks by on typical musical cues and dialogue focus. You’re not going to be ducking for cover during this one, but it’s nice to know that the HD track provides you with more than enough to listen to.
Here’s a list of the bonus content found on the disc:
- Tyler Perry: Multi Hats and Costumes (HD)
- Thank Yur, Hellur: Impersonating Madea (HD)
- The Needlemans (HD)
- Madea’s Fun House (HD)
- Madea’s Comedy Icons (HD)
- UltraViolet Digital Copy
What’s not to like in this latest Tyler Perry feature? Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection is your basic Tyler Perry Madea film and it works because of the expectations already set going into the film. Fans of Perry and his Madea character are going to love this one, because it focuses more on the laugh riot-inducing character and less on all of the other dramatic garbage that Perry usually pads his films with. Eugene Levy works as the upper-class business man in need of a life-altering lesson and the rest of the cast are just sprinkles on the fat-heavy Madea cake that Perry himself probably gobbles up immediately after production.
You really shouldn’t need me to tell you if this disc is worth your money or not, because I’m not taking full responsibility for your probable disliking of Perry’s antics.
Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection is typical Perry fluff, but entertaining none-the-less. It's not his strongest Madea film, but it certainly isn't his worst. I'd peg it somewhere in the middle, but I'm one of those rare birds that finds the character fascinating for some odd reason.