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Movie Review: Madea Goes To Jail (17138 hits)


Tyler Perry is a master at making modern morality plays which address an array of concerns of the African-American community. What makes his films feel so authentic is that his characters invariably reflect black culture in a manner which is instantly recognizable and thus effortlessly resonates with the audience as real. Another plus is Perry’s knowing how to mix-in plenty of comic relief without diluting the power of the sobering message he’s trying to deliver.

Loosely-based on the stage production of the same name, Madea Goes to Jail just might be Tyler Perry’s best endeavor to date. The film stars Tyler, back in drag, as the sassy, pistol-packing Mable “Madea” Simmons, heading a talented ensemble which includes Viola Davis, Derek Luke, Ion Overman, Keisha Knight Pulliam and David and Tamela J. Mann.

The cast also features an incredible number of celebrity cameos, most notably, Dr. Phil, and TV Judges Greg Mathis and Mablean Ephriam, not to mention Reverend Al Sharpton, comedian Steve Harvey, DJs Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden, CNN news anchor Tony Harris, and The View talk show hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Fortunately, balancing all the egos never gets in the way of making a hilarious flick, for the finished product is a rollicking roller coaster that ought to be fun for the whole family.

At the point of departure, we find Madea in front of Judge Mablean who lets the hell-raising granny off with a slap on the wrist and a stern warning for leading police on a high-speed freeway chase. Instead of landing behind bars, she is ordered to undergo treatment for anger management with Dr. Phil. While on the coach, she and the shrink engage in a hilarious exchange reminiscent of Abbott and Costello’s classic “Who’s on First?”

Needless to say, the therapy doesn’t work, and Madea goes berserk again when a customer steals her parking spot at the mall. After wrecking the woman’s car with a forklift, Madea is arrested again but ends up this time in front of a very incensed Judge Mathis who decides to teach her a lesson with a sentence of 5-10 years.

Meanwhile, there’s a whole parallel plot unfolding involving Assistant District Attorney Joshua Hardaway (Luke) who is engaged to Linda (Overman), a bourgie colleague who doesn’t understand why he might care about rehabilitating Candy (Pulliam), a former girlfriend who has turned to streetwalking. With the help of a prison minister (Davis), Josh does his best to get his ex the help she needs anyway, a decision which destabilizes his once solid relationship. Everything comes to a head when Madea and Candy cross paths in a correctional facility, leading to tidy resolution which not only ties loose ends but elicits a few tears.

Remember to stay for the closing credits, for some bonus badinage between Madea and Dr. Phil.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for violence, s*xual situations, mature themes and drug use.
Running time: 103 minutes
Studio: Lions Gate Films
Posted By: Dante Lee
Friday, February 20th 2009 at 3:42PM
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saw it love an going to see it again
Saturday, February 21st 2009 at 3:53PM
thersa phillips
Excellent movie.It shows how important it is to give a form of charity (a uplifting
word to another human being) which might be the mental trigger they need to re-ignite their life.
Saturday, February 21st 2009 at 6:39PM
Raven Mahdee
I enjoyed the movie but the ending was way to quick for me. I think that a longer conclusion to the problems seen would have been better. I heard a lot of groans in the theatre when the end credits started rolling.
Saturday, February 21st 2009 at 11:23PM
Kendra Nicholson
This movie was great and funny!!! I enjoyed it.. However I think there will be a Part II.. Rudy and the guy has to get married.. I love you Tyler Perry...
Sunday, February 22nd 2009 at 4:16PM
Deidra Artis
I have to admit...This one was funny. I think Tyler Perry is a genius, but I'm not a huge fan of his work. However, this one was pretty funny.
Sunday, February 22nd 2009 at 11:58PM
Dante Lee
I subscribe to your blog, The Black Business Coach and because of your review of the movie...I will definitely be going to see it before it comes out on DVD this time!
Tuesday, February 24th 2009 at 8:55PM
Jen Fad
Can it get any better?? just when you think Tyler Perry has reached his peek in screenwriting, he yet rises to another level of comedy and drama - don't stop doing what you do...this movie bought my birthday celebration to a wonderful close....! Thanks Tyler.
Tuesday, February 24th 2009 at 10:56PM
Wanda Wiggins
TYLER THANK YOU FOR LISTEN TO ME , I HOPE YOU CAN HELP.
I AM ON THE PHONE WITH GWEN AND BRENDA MY GIRLFRIEND THEY HAVE BEEN HELPING ME ALONE WITH MY FAMILY GET THROUGH THIS BECAUSE WITHOUT GOD ON MY SIDE I COULDN'T MAKE IT. SINCERELY YOURS
LOVING MOTHER DOLORES
Friday, February 27th 2009 at 3:47AM
Guest Visitor
i love the movie

Friday, August 14th 2009 at 5:27PM
brittany gray
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