Matthew Lickona 2:02 p.m., Sept. 23
Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection
In their heyday, Eugene Levy and the rest of the satirically contemptuous gang at SCTV would have had a field day gutting a formulaic mixed-message trafficker like Tyler Perry. Now? I know that standout comedic supporting players gotta eat, but does Perry own compromising Polaroids of Levy with barnyard animals? Admittedly, the stalwart Levy is the "Screech" of the American Pie franchise, but even that can't justify his participation in this subcompact sitcom. Levy plays a New York CFO unwittingly duped into participating in a Ponzi scheme that launders money for the mob. He and his lily-white family are then relocated to the deep South to hide out in the home of a giant, ad-libbing drag queen. (You thought Goodfella Henry Hill had it bad?) This is obviously Perry’s bid at a crossover picture, but since his idea of humor is Denise Richards jive-talking and Levy hiding beneath a mustache, oversize beret, and Pepe LePew accent, you may as well stay home and watch reruns of The Carol Burnett Show. All that's missing is a laugh track. And for a filmmaker who prides himself on Christian values, what’s with Perry making actress Doris Roberts wring laughs out of Alzheimer's Disease? 2012, 2012.
- "Review: Madea's Witness Protection" • July 2, 2012