Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry & hopes his writings will help launch his careers.
Sometimes a final entry in a long-running series will have a teary goodbye for the fans, sometimes it'll just be a short and sweet 'see-ya-later' like a friend moving away, and then there's Madea's goodbye which didn't feel like a goodbye at all. It felt like just another Madea movie. That's not necessarily a bad thing. As we learned from the terrible Boo! movies, over-the-top often kills what could be a good thing. Instead, Mr. Perry decided to bid Madea adieu by bringing the movies back to their roots: something brings the family together and Madea is put in the middle of a drama that she now has to fix in her own way.
A Madea Family Funeral follows Madea's crazy family as everyone's brought together for a reunion where two members would also be having an anniversary party. When Anthony passes away under incriminating circumstances, the family reunion turns into a funeral. How Anthony passed away is something Madea wanted to keep secret to spare his wife's feelings, but there's a lot more going on than Madea realizes, and soon her unique brand of justice and humor is required one last time.
Well, the day all Madea fans have dreaded. Madea has officially been retired, from film anyway. Tyler Perry and crew are currently touring the country with Madea's Farewell stage play. After that, Tyler's moving on to other things, which isn't a bad thing. On one hand, it's sad to say goodbye to such a fun and encouraging character. On the other hand, it's been prevalent that the Madea films have been in a state of decline as of late. It's better to go out on good terms than after the fanbase abandons the films completely.
As I said earlier, Family Funeral didn't really feel like Madea saying goodbye to us. It felt more like we the audience were saying goodbye to Madea, like visiting a relative one last time before moving away. The end message was one of hope and encouragement, and I was very much appreciative of Mr. Perry ending the long-running series on a positive note.
The only thing that really brought the film down was the same thing that hurt the Boo movies - Hattie. Every time she's on-screen, I wish she'd leave. The addition of Heathrow was also highly unnecessary. That being said, at least Heathrow was funny instead of annoying like Hattie.
The story took the film back to the franchise's roots, back to what made the series so great to begin with: real-life, meaningful, moral lessons with a humorous spin. Even though I have a hard time keeping up with who's who in Madea's humongous family (I can barely keep up with my own, to be honest), it's not a huge deal as long as you receive the message that's being sent.
In conclusion, I enjoyed the film as I have enjoyed most of Perry's works. I think the Boo movies were the only ones I didn't care much for, which is actually quite the achievement considering he's been making plays for 21 years and films for 14 years. Thanks for the laughs and inspiring lessons, Mr. Perry. I look forward to where your career goes next. I give A Madea Family Funeral a 3 out of 4.
© 2019 Nathan Jasper