Tyler Perry bids farewell to ‘Madea’

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Puzzle / More Review - BY JAY BOBBIN

Tyler Perry cer­tainly has made his mark with “Madea.” Maybe it’s not men­tioned of­ten (if at all) in the same breath as James Bond and the Marvel Cin­e­matic Uni­verse, but the com­edy fran­chise cer­tainly has been an­other en­dur­ing suc­cess. It ap­par­ently reaches its fi­nale with the 11th chap­ter, “A Madea Fam­ily Funeral,” which writer, di­rec­tor and star Perry has main­tained will be the last of those sto­ries – but don’t place any bets on that just yet. The pic­ture had a big open­ing, and his­tory proves that can be a big cause to res­ur­rect a char­ac­ter down the line.

With that said, you safely can as­sume the funeral of the ti­tle is not Madea’s. In­stead, it’s that of a rel­a­tive who met his fate while in very close throes with his wife’s best friend, and the re­sult­ing events re­veal that other mem­bers of the fam­ily haven’t been too faith­ful to their own sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers.

That gives Madea and com­pany all the fuel they need to take the ser­vices well be­yond a tra­di­tion­ally somber oc­ca­sion. As usual, Perry fills sev­eral other roles as well ... in­clud­ing the new one of a sup­pos­edly in­ca­pac­i­tated man who sur­passes his lim­i­ta­tions quite ev­i­dently. It’s a stand­out part, if of­ten for po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect rea­sons.

The tone of the ma­te­rial won’t sur­prise the “Madea” faith­ful, switch­ing with rea­son­able reg­u­lar­ity be­tween the com­i­cal and the sen­ti­men­tal. How­ever, even the more heart­felt mo­ments have a cer­tain edge to them, and that’s Perry’s style. Even his pic­tures that haven’t in­volved Madea (“Daddy’s Lit­tle Girls,” “Why Did I Get Mar­ried?,” etc.) are balanc­ing acts in se­ri­o­comic terms, and the beauty of be­ing one’s own boss is that you pretty much can do what you want, as Perry has.

Of course, it takes a re­cep­tive fol­low­ing to be able to keep do­ing that, and Perry has been for­tu­nate (and un­doubt­edly knows it) in gain­ing such a loyal fan base. Smartly, he also has rented him­self out as an ac­tor-for-hire for such projects as “Gone Girl” and the re­cent “Vice,” know­ing that those pay­checks will help fi­nance his own ven­tures.

As with most of the “Madea” movies, the hu­mor is con­tin­u­ally hit-or-miss in “A Madea Fam­ily Funeral.” Even if this edi­tion has “Funeral” in its ti­tle, though, don’t be sur­prised if its lure to au­di­ences ul­ti­mately makes it not the end af­ter all.

“Tyler Perry’s A Madea Fam­ily Funeral”

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