Cinema Dispatch: Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

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Boo 2! A Madea Halloween and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate

Directed by Tyler Perry

Oh great.  We’re back here again, and I have the feeling we’ll be back her again AGAIN come next October because if there are two things Tyler Perry is good at, its making movies quick and beating a dead horse.  I didn’t outright HATE the first film, but it’s pretty terrible and showcases pretty much all the weaknesses in the Tyler Perry formula that somehow has captured the hearts and minds of millions of people.  Does this movie improve upon the last film to make something tolerable for the rest of us who aren’t in the Madea loop?  Of course not; you knew that BEFORE this movie was even made.  Is it at least TOLERABLE though?  Well… let’s find out.

It’s Halloween again in whatever town this is and the events of last year are still somewhat fresh in the memories of all the characters they bothered to bring back for this one.  I say SOMEWHAT because Tiffany (Diamond White) still has very little respect for her father Brian (Tyler Perry) despite learning that lesson last year, and the situation is worse now because she is OFFICIALLY EIGHTEEN!!  Apparently her birthday is on the thirtieth of October which I don’t recall them mentioning in the first film, but that’s the case here which means its PERFECTLY LEGAL now for her to tell her dad to piss off and go get laid by the broiest bro in the frat Johnathan (Yousef Erakat) who has an even BETTER party planned this time around!  This time, the party will be at the Ye Old lake where apparently a dozen people were murdered back in the seventies and I GUESS has been closed ever sense which makes it the perfect place to set up a rockin’ Halloween PAR-TAY!  Of course Brian has a problem with this, but since his ex-wife () () gave Tiffany permission (which she didn’t even NEED because she’s an adult now), there’s very little he can do.  BULLSHIT, I SAY!  There must be SOMEONE willing to stop this girl from having fun!  I guess this is a job for Madea, Uncle Joe (both Tyler Perry), Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis), and Hattie (Patrice Lovely) who all return from the last film and are apparently haven’t moved an inch as they start this movie in the same damn chairs they spent most of the LAST movie sitting in.  When they get up there though, things aren’t what they appear to be as they start running into mysterious characters with dangerous weapons and ill intent that seem just as hell bent on stopping this party as the Madea crew are; though admittedly with much more violent means.  Will Brian ever find a way to get through to Tiffany’s rebellious streak and stop her from making poor decisions?  What else is up at the lake other than the horrors of sex, drugs, and pop music?  How much longer can Tyler Perry POSSIBLY milk this character while still making a crap load of money EVERY SINGLE TIME!?

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We meet again, old friend.  Sigh…

IT’S THE SAME GOD DAMN MOVIE!!  Tyler Perry is selling you the same shit over again that has the EXACT same problems as the last film and even resets any character development that was dealt with in the last film so they can even sell you the EXACT SAME MORAL!!  HE’S RIPPING OFF HIMSELF AND NOT EVEN BEING SUBTLE ABOUT IT!!

Except for the fact that they lean a bit harder into the horror elements.  The change in setting does allow for a few more decently funny set pieces and feels like he was taking the whole Halloween aspect a little more seriously than he did in the last one.

Okay, so this is still the SAME MOVIE but a slight better version of the SAME MOVIE.  It’s still an unbelievable chore to get through as Tyler Perry can’t help but repeat the same jokes, the same structure, and even the same god damn parlor room scenes, but I’m willing to give him credit where it is due, and there’s… a LITTLE bit of credit due here.  Not much, but… a little bit.

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“Mother fucker, I DARE you to start some shit with me!”     *RIN-RIN-RIN-RIN-RIN*     “Oh shit…”

There’s just something fun about putting wacky characters in a horror movie scenario, and this movie comes REALLY close to achieving the kind of comedic gold that The Simpsons, Edgar Wright, and The Three Stooges, were able to mine when THEY did the same thing.  It leans VERY heavily on slapstick and pratfalls which I honestly find to be funny and works for the most part here.  The problem though is that Tyler Perry has ZERO discipline and can only write half a script, so instead of going through a lot of set pieces with well-timed and unique jokes, he has only a handful of set pieces where the jokes are the EXACT SAME OVER AND OVER AGAIN.  The scenes with her and the other old folks just sitting in a room and talking in Brian’s general direction (how many freaking times does Tyler Perry sheepishly walk into frame and stand still to take abuse in the first half of this movie!?) for what feels like an eternity and a half.  SOMETIMES they manage to say something funny in these scenes, but most of the time its repeating jokes from the first movie which only shows just how little ambition the guy had when making this sequel; somewhat undercutting his MORAL CONVICTIONS at the end since this is so clearly a rush job for cash.  Even when we’re out of the parlor room and at the haunted campground, they’re STILL CONSTANTLY TALKING OVER EACH OTHER and it makes scenes drag on SO GOD DAMN LONG that it ruins pretty much every joke they have; the few new ones and ESPECIALLY the many old ones.  The worst thing you can do to a comedy that has GOOD jokes is to run them into the ground, and this movie can’t help itself from doing that over and over and OVER again.

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“Is this what hell is like?  Have I died and gone to purgatory?”

Still, the movie would have remained tolerable if the worst it got was simply being repetitive and sub-par.  Okay, it isn’t helped by its NUMEROUS technical shortcomings (one scene in a kitchen had to of ACTUALLY been shot in a cave considering how much echo it has), but I could see myself giving this a tentative recommendation if it had just stayed in its lane and been a lesser version of Ernest Scared Stupid.  Unfortunately, because this is MASTER AUTEUR TYLER PERRY, he has to take things that extra step into being outright unpalatable.  Now to fully express just how fucking pissed I got at the ending which ruined all the goodwill I had for the film, I really need to spoil what happens at the end of this so if you don’t want to know what happens you should leave now and come back later after you’ve seen it.  Seriously!  TURN BACK NOW!!

We clear?  Alright good, because I’m about to go into a SUPER rant.  Get ready for a giant wall of barely coherent text, because I’m about to let loose on this cinematic shit show!  At the end of the movie, it turns out that ALL this creepy stuff going on (except maybe not ALL of it but the script is so half assed that it’s not properly explained and doesn’t really matter) was a giant scheme by Brian and the other dad to get back at their children for going to the party.  That and they also used the police to make dozens of arrests as they were apparently the fake slasher killers in some elaborate sting operation.  Sigh…

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The ACLU is gonna have a FIELD day with this shit.

I don’t know about Tyler Perry himself, but his character Brian in this movie (the Tyler Perry-est role that Tyler Perry plays.  I’M JUST SAYING!) is a misogynistic, authoritarian, piece of shit and the script completely reinforces his backwards world view.  He clearly doesn’t trust women to make their own decisions and constantly questions his wife and daughter at every turn; assuming that he’s ALWAYS right and will go to any lengths to prove it.  The movie certainly backs him up on this claim by having them act duplicitous in a situation that… really didn’t call for it, but they act that way anyway so that it gives off the impression that they ARE doing something horribly wrong when they actually… aren’t.  He will even call upon the power of the police in a clear violation of ethical conduct in order to not only SCARE her daughter straight (because THAT’S always a good idea) but to bully young adults with threats of incarceration and ruined lives.  I don’t give a SHIT if they were “trespassing” on the lake grounds (is it private property?  WHY WOULD AN OPEN AREA LIKE THIS BE OFF LIMITS TO THE PUBLIC!?) or if they had drugs (yeah right, I bet the cops planted them because we don’t actually SEE them in the movie), the reason behind those arrests were vindictive and there was a clear conflict of interest which is COMPLETELY unethical; not to mention that the cops doing the arresting were wearing costumes, chasing them with CHAINSAWS, and were dragging their asses all over the place WITHOUT identifying as police beforehand.  As far as I could tell, these partiers were being chased, choked, dragged, and intentionally terrified by disguised officers, and I’m PRETTY sure that’s not legal.  However, even if it is perfectly legal within the US to do all the above, that STILL doesn’t make Brian “right” to abuse these powers in the way that he does.  And here’s the thing.  His plan DOESN’T work despite the movie insisting that it does.  The only danger that the partiers (and his daughter) ever faced was by his own hand.  There was NOTHING dangerous about that party for his daughter who is a consenting adult and was enjoying herself while there.  The only reason that night was fraught with danger and horror is because Brian, UNABLE TO COPE WITH THE FACT THAT HIS DAUGHTER IS DOING SOMETHING HE DOESN’T WANT HER TO DO, invents a fake horror scenario to… what?  Show her the error of her ways?  Is this supposed to prove that going to a party will lead to some serial killer trying to murder them?  Well apparently NOT because that isn’t what freaking happens!  IT WAS ALL FAKE!!  How his ex-wife doesn’t punch his stupid nose in once she finds out what he pulled, I will never know.  Instead she’s all I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO YOU and YOU WERE SO RIGHT BRIAN when told about his moronic scheme.  There actually WAS something in here that could have been a decent and well deserved commentary on horror movie tropes which is the character of Gabriella who is having NONE of this party and what’s going on.  Admittedly she can come across as annoying and moralistic (at one point she says Christian’s don’t do shots which is… odd), BUT the fact that Tiffany dragged her ass to the party (basically coerced her into doing it) was an absolutely wrong thing to do and things get even worse when the creepy ass dude Dino constantly hits on her despite giving every indication that she wants him to fuck off.  Frats have a shitty reputation FOR A REASON, so a horror movie trying to acknowledge that fact without fetishizing it is a decent message to put in a movie like this.  Instead, Tyler Perry wants to shame ALL young adults for having fun, even the consenting ones who are of age, and missed a chance to have a MODICUM of legitimate moralizing in the process.  Fuck you Tyler Perry, you condescending asshole.  By the way, this is the EXACT same shit that the frat boys pulled in the FIRST film and that movie told us THEY were the assholes for doing THAT, so let’s throw Hypocrite in there while we’re at it!

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“YES!  Shower me with adulation!”     “All hail the brilliant Tyler Perry!  He’s oh so wise!”     “MWA HA HA HA HAAAA!”

I wanted to… tolerate this movie, and I even came really close to LIKING it at several points.  However, Tyler Perry couldn’t help but get in his own way YET AGAIN and took a perfectly good comedy premise with some decent (if OBNOXIOUSLY overplayed) material and turned it into yet another of his bullshit moral screeds against these kids today and women in general.  I don’t know what’s in that dude’s head most of the time, but if someone can find a way to channel his better aspects into a movie while leaving behind the baggage, you might ACTUALLY have had a solid Halloween comedy that might have been worth incorporating into your yearly stack of spooky films to watch this time of year.  I’m coming onto the Tyler Perry phenomenon WAY too late to start hoping that he gets better when this is the best he can do fifteen or so years into his career, so no.  I don’t want to see another Boo movie if it’s gonna be the same shit over again, and we all know that’s exactly what it will be.

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