Movie Review: 'Madea Goes To Jail' - Celebrity Bug


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Movie Review: 'Madea Goes To Jail'

At long last, Madea returns to the big screen in Tyler Perry's Madea Goes To Jail. This time America's favorite irreverent, pistol-packin' grandmomma is raising hell behind bars and lobbying for her freedom...Hallelujer!

After a high-speed freeway chase puts Madea in front of the judge, her reprieve is short-lived as anger management issues get the best of her and land her in jail. A gleeful Joe couldn't be happier at Madea's misfortune. But Madea's eccentric family members the Browns rally behind her, lending their special "country" brand of support.

Meanwhile, Assistant District Attorney Joshua Hardaway is on the fast track to career success. But Hardaway lands a case too personal to handle - defending young prostitute and former drug addict Candace Washington and asks his fiancée and fellow ADA Linda Holmes to fill in on his behalf. When Candace ends up in jail, Madea befriends the young woman, protecting her in a "motherly" way as only Madea can.

After a hard child life in the ghetto, Assistant District Attorney Joshua Hardaway (Derek Luke) finally seems to have everything in place. He's successful at his job and engaged to his beautiful co-worker Linda (Ion Overman). Even he couldn't have assumed that his lifelong friend Candy's appearance would not only make him reevaluate his relationship, but his life all together.

Struggling from a life of addiction and prostitution Candy (Keshia Knight Pulliam) reemerges in court and out of a sense of guilt and obligation for what happened in college, Josh stands by her to lend a helping hand. A task that doesn't sit well with his fiancee Linda and prompts her to get dirty in the handling of Candy's case, which you know will come back to haunt before the movie comes to an end.

In the mean time, Madea, as always, has once again found herself on the wrong side of the law, after the destruction of a lady's car in a K-Mart parking lot, puts her back in front of the judge, after catching a break at the beginning of the movie. Unfortunately, this time she's out of chances and forced to take a vacation behind bars.

The problem with the storyline is Perry wants the story to be intense, comedic, and heartfelt, at the same time, which is something his writing skills just aren't capable of doing. At least not, at this point in his career. The story also doesn't put enough emphasis on the star, Madea, instead writing her off as nothing more than a supporting role, to make room for Josh and Candy, which leaves you feeling shortchanged.

That said, failure surfaces the most in Perry's ability to keep you guessing, because from Candy's past incident to how the ending would unfold is never truly a mystery. Its predictable and you know the answers to everything before he ever gives them to you. As always, the fairy tale ending never ceases to be left out in a Tyler Perry film, which not only insult the audience's intelligence, but his writing skills as well.

The acting is just what you've come to expect from a Perry production, which can range from good to terribly bad. Derek Luke and Viola Davis, have both given better performance, but in their defense, they've also had better material to work with. Tyler Perry, as Madea, Joe, and Bryan is just what you want him to be, while Keshia Knight Pulliam seems to have lost all natural acting ability since her Cosby days, and David Mann and Tamela Mann, continue to be their usual annoying selves. Luckily, Brown and Cora's screen time is limited.

Direction & Visual:
Aside from writing and staring in the production, Tyler Perry was also the main man behind the camera and he does a solid job. Sadly, he doesn't keep up the progression from The Family That Preys until now.

The film has its ups and down and the good, bad, and ugly parts are all included. On a positive note, Perry does continue his trend of lining his movies with a life lessons, this one being forgiveness.

That said, when it comes to his movies, it's not a question of which of Perry's seven films is best, as Why Did I Get Married?, The Family That Preys, and Daddy's Little Girls, remain atop that list and trust me its not a conscience that Madea's relevance doesn't take place in either.

2 out of 5

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