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Movie Review

Madea's Witness Protection also known as “Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some crude sexual remarks and brief drug references.

Reviewed by: Brian C. Johnson
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 54 min.
Year of Release:
2012
USA Release:
June 29, 2012 (wide—2,000+ theaters)
DVD: October 23, 2012
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Lionsgate

Ponzi scheme

culture clash

taking care of senile mother

spoiled teenage daughter

little boy who wishes his father was around more

family unity and togetherness

Featuring: Tyler PerryMadea/Joe/Brian
Eugene LevyGeorge Needleman
Denise Richards … Kate Needleman
Doris Roberts … Barbara
Romeo Miller … Jake
Tom ArnoldWalter
John Amos … Pastor Nelson
more »
Director: Tyler Perry
Producer: The Tyler Perry Company
Ozzie Areu … producer
more »
Distributor: Lionsgate

“New look. New York. New Madea.”

Written, directed, produced and starring…. Tyler Perry! In countless reviews, I have written that same phrase over and over again. So often have I penned those words, I may have grown weary of the need to write them. As a fan of Tyler Perry for a number of years, I have grown accustomed to a certain style, certain repetitive themes, and certain characters, and tend to expect the same-old-same-old jokes. I am thrilled to report that Perry has given us some fresh laughs and a new storyline. No sign of Mr. Brown or Cora, no abusive, cheating husbands, or sad sack stories, just some honest to goodness laughs. Yes, Madea is back, but even she seems to have had a character makeover.

In “Madea’s Witness Protection,” Madea plays hostess/security guard for the Needleman family who are under federal witness protection, as they are the targets of a mafia hit. George Needleman (Eugene Levy) is a Wall Street executive who learns that he has been set up as the fall guy for a Ponzi scheme which as bilked several charities out of millions of dollars. If he doesn’t get out of New York City, he and his family will meet certain doom. When the government suggests the family move in with Madea and her older brother, Joe, the hilarity ensues. George, his wife Kate (Denise Richards) and their two children must relocate to the Georgia home of our heroine. Rounding out the Needleman family is George’s mother, Barbara (Doris Roberts of “Everybody Loves Raymond” fame), whose bouts of senility add to the fun.

Make no mistake—this is no Oscar® contender, and sadly, Perry continues to blur the morality line. As in his previous films, the suggestive language, a few drug references, and frequent sexual innuendo (no nudity or sex scenes, but sexual topics are frequent—especially Madea’s past lives as a stripper and a prostitute) are absolutely unnecessary. If you write good material, you do not need to go blue to make people laugh. And what’s more, he had Eugene Levy as the star—that man has no trouble making people crack up! Even when he is trying to be un-funny, somehow he still is a laugh riot. That being said, though, Perry’s stalwart fans and those looking for a few good belly laughs will enjoy the film. Again, nothing award winning here, but some good fun for mature teens and adults.

Consistent with his body of work, Perry manages to sneak in a few good lines that will resonate with Christian audiences and other viewers. The importance of family unity and togetherness serves as the undercurrent to the comedy of this film. That being said, though, I would recommend parents view the film first, before they decide if younger teens should see the movie.

Violence: Mild / Profanity/Vulgarity: Moderate—“Lord, have mercy” (6), “God,” “Lord,” “hell” (38), “damn” (12), “ass” (15) / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive

none

Neutral
Neutral—…an interesting movie. I wanted to see a comedy and knew I wanted to see this movie. So I asked my father to join me, and he willingly agreed to see this movie with me. It was funny, it was well developed. HOWEVER, there was a little too much sexual humor. Just a little. It didn’t ruin the overall appreciation I had for this film. The acting was good. Tyler Perry was hysterical in the right places and so was Eugene Levy. Still, the sexual humor was unnecessary, and so the reviewer is right in stating that the moral rating was Average. A funny movie, but one that is meant for adults only. Leave the children at home.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Alexander Malsan, age 22 (USA)
Negative
Negative—My wife and I just took the time this afternoon to go and see this movie, and, frankly, we were so disappointed. The language and sexual references took away from the humor. We went to the movie expecting to laugh, but came away disappointed, regretting that we wasted the time, because the plot was both weak and not believable, and the movie had more crash comments and cursing than we had expected. Even the church scene, at the end, seemed weaker than normal. Tyler Perry is a gifted man. Although we really have enjoyed many of Tyler Perry’s movies and plays, we do not recommend this movie for the reasons stated above. You do not come away from this movie feeling good.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Paul Baskin, age 59 (USA)
Negative—I was very disappointed. I’ve seen previous Tyler Perry movies, and he almost always leaves a spot open to share the gospel and to bring Christianity into a good light. However, in this movie, you wouldn’t know he was a Christian, at all. Even the church scene was weak. They blaspheme the name of the Lord numerous times, and the language is terrible. There are terrible sexual references in the movie that made a lot of people laugh, but it made me cringe. Hopefully, Tyler makes his way back to making movies for Christ.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Shanice, age 20 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—I will start off by saying that I am a huge fan of Tyler Perry’s movies, especially the Madea movies! They’re especially entertaining to watch with my family. We saw it last night, my mother, father, grandmother, and 14 year old brother, and we had a nice time. However, this is a movie review, not a leisure review… I will say that the language was the same as all Madea movies. It was very frequent throughout the movie, but nothing too extreme. And there was some offensive sexual talk. For example, talk of stripping.

However, there were no sexual scenes, which is always relieving. But, let’s be honest, if you’re under 13/14, I’m sorry, but I don’t think you’ll be mature enough to see the entire movie. But I don’t know you personally, so correct me if I’m wrong. …Also, if you’re well acquainted with Tyler Perry’s films, the content within this movie is no different than usual. The only thing that really disappointed me about this movie was the ending. It just seemed less exciting than usual… boo:(…LOL but besides that, I enjoyed the movie. It taught basic morals which I appreciate and expect from Tyler Perry. …)

“…Witness Protection” was not a major blockbuster, but it’s a perfect movie if you’re looking for a good laugh. And whatever Tyler Perry produces, directs, stars in, etc., my family and I are praying for him, and are behind him 100%!…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Chloe, age 17 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—All of Tyler Perry’s movies are the same, especially the ones where he plays Madea: excessive cursing, excessive yelling, the same jokes are used from the beginning to the end, overly stereotyped characters, disrespectful kids, etc. I’ve seen his other movies (“Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “Madea’s Family Reunion,” “Madea’s Big Happy Family”), so when I was watching TV and the preview for this film came on I wasn’t even interested. I won’t be seeing it, because I pretty much already know what to expect.
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality:
—T., age 20 (USA)

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