"How Many Cancer jokes and Klansmen can a Christmas movie have?"
"A Madea Christmas" Review By Thomas Coombs Jr.
I've been a fan of movies since I was a young boy, even as a lad I wanted to be a critic. When my friend Thomas needed somebody to review "A Madea Christmas" all the thoughts of wanting to be a critic came flooding back...it should have ended there.
As I sat in the multiplex on a dreary Sunday afternoon I expected the absolute worst. The film starts in a department store where Madea is insulting customers with her witty comebacks and insults. From there we switch to some Alabama school where Madea's great niece teaches at a school that is preparing for the "Christmas Jubilee". As it turns out, the town is lacking the funds for the celebration, since a company built a dam that caused most of the town to lose their jobs. As the citizens are meeting with the mayor in the principal's office(?!) Chad Michael Murray is there in full redneck mode complaining that he has to sell "porn shares"(Poinsettias, if that joke doesn't make you laugh at first, don't worry, it'll be said MANY more times before the movie is over). We cut back to the neices classroom where one of the students was late to class and you can tell he's the poorest kid in this dirt farming town because there's dirt on his face and the other kids make fun of him. In fact he even says the line "I'm just a poor farm boy" HE REALLY SAYS THAT! After class is over, the niece gets a call from her ex-boyfriend who she contacted to help sponsor the jubilee, he agrees and he'll be down the next day. But, he won't be alone...
By the way, I'd compare this viewing experience to my experience of "Real Steel", when Madea/Robots fighting weren't on the screen, I'd think "Why am I watching this?"
As niece (Lacey) gets home to her farmhouse her husband, country boy Conner is doing experiments in their barn. It turns out there isn't much Christmas spirit around the house, which prompts her mother to come. Her mother is hitching a ride with her ex to come down and she's bringing Madea! (I forgot she was in this!). As her mother doesn't know she married Conner, they masquerade him as a farmhand because as it turns out, moms a bit racist because a white man killed her husband. If Things sound crazy now, things get really crazy when Conners parents Show up! His parents are played by Larry the Cable Guy and Kathy Najimy(in FULL Peggy Hill mode, might I add). Now, here are things I didn't wanna say, Mr. The Cable Guy, is NOT the most redneck character AND the film gets a chance to shine here because Madea and him play off each other so well. Most of the scenes with Madea seem like the actors are trying to stay in character and not crack up. Ironically, this adds kind of a realism to the characters.
Please forgive me for going on and on, but the rest of the movie drags on like this. Although Perry brings his A game, most of the supporting characters do not. There are plot lines that gone nowhere, jokes that fall flat and lines that make no sense. Also, keep an eye out for blink-and-miss-them cameos from "Ain't got time for that" lady and "They rapin everybody" guy(NOTE: By "blink-and-miss" I mean close your eyes for 20 seconds, oh and the guy is credited as "YouTube guy"...clever) Also, here's hoping you're a fan of star wipe transitions with Christmas decorations...cause there's a lot of them, like an over saturated episode of Home Improvement.
In closing, I'm not a big fan of Madea, but for some reason, I get excited whenever a new Madea movie comes out, go figure. This is by far not the best movie I've seen in theatres(That would go to The Avengers) but, it's not the worst either(Grown Ups). This movie probably won't be considered a Christmas Classic in years to come, but if Mr. Perry keeps cranking out the Madea movies, I don't think it'll be forgotten either.
Oh, and by the way. There's a scene where Madea hangs up a white kid on a cross.
- Tom Coombs