The Wildest Madea Adventure Yet.
George Needleman (Eugene Levy) pays a visit to the office one day only to find out that he is being scapegoated as the leader in a scandalous Ponzi Scheme. With The Mob after him George feels he has no choice but to cooperate with the law in an effort to prove his innocence and perhaps even find the funds stolen through the Ponzi Scheme. To protect himself and his family from violent retaliations from The Mob and duped investors George agrees to stay at the home of Madea Simmons (Tyler Perry). If The Needleman Family aren't careful Madea might rub them out before The Mob does.
I would dub Madea's Witness Protection
as perhaps the weirdest Madea story ever. It is quite a wacky course of events that get the Needlemans into Madea's house. Then once the Needlemans are settled the amusement continues with Madea and her brother, Joe Simmons (Tyler Perry), clumsily trying to find common ground with their upper middle class guests. The racial bumps were expected but Mr. Perry throws in a curveball when Grandma Barbara (Doris Roberts) realizes that she's met Joe before.
While George tries to figure a way out of his dilemma, a young man named Jake (Romeo Miller) is dealing with a different problem caused by the same Ponzi Scheme. Jake's story puts a face on the ruin that a financial crime can cause to others. Jake's father, Pastor Nelson (John Amos), allows Jake to invest his retirement savings into a company handled by George's firm. When the company goes under all the retirement money goes with it leaving Jake desperate to recoup the funds before his father retires. In the true Tyler Perry fashion the writer/director/actor takes a current event from the headlines and spins a story about it portraying both sides of the issue.
As in most Tyler Perry productions the focus is on the “the family”. Even before the rug is pulled out from under The Needleman clan it is evident that they are in need of some counseling. Kate (Denise Richards) is left to care for the family while George is occupied with other matters. Not an easy task with a step-daughter (Danielle Campbell) that despises her, a son (Devan Leos) who feels neglected and a mother-in-law (Doris Roberts) that is determined to work Kate's last nerve. A trip to Madea's abode usually results in the guests leaving in a better state than when they arrived. She may be brash, loud and stubborn but Madea is a miracle worker when it comes to mending broken hearts and sad souls. Madea's Witness Protection
wasn't a bad film but it felt very unusual to me. The story was likeable enough, the interactions between The Simmons and The Needleman families were pretty funny and any scene with Madea can conjure up a laugh with the woman just giving a raised eyebrow to the camera. She is in perfect form during an impromptu trip to New York City. Eugene Levy seemed to fit right into the mold and I have to admit that it was nice to see Denise Richards acting again. I just can't put my finger on why this particular Madea adventure left me feeling odd. It was like eating my favorite dessert but noticing something odd about the taste. As if something was added to the recipe that didn't make it inedible. Just a little bit off target.
Oh and you know that urban legend about Tyler Perry movie tickets being swapped for other movies? Well, I experienced that for myself. I bought tickets for myself and my family. Got to the designated auditorium only to discover that the ticket stub was for The Amazing Spider-Man
(2012) instead of Madea's Witness Protection
. We eventually figured out the correct theater and even overheard some other Madea fans discussing their ticket swap in the lobby. Not sure if it was case of the young and plucky box office dude being way too distracted by his conversation with his co-workers or if this was truly some conspiracy to inflate the coffers of another film. The lesson learned is to take a second to glance at your ticket before you walk away from the register. You might be surprised by what you find. Rhymes With: Madea's Big Happy Family
(2011), Madea Goes To Jail
(2006), Bringing Down The House
(2003), Jumping The Broom
(2011), Death At A Funeral