Monday, July 2, 2012

movie review--madea's witness protection

I know that Tyler Perry's Madea movies are fairly popular in Christian circles. I think that he has been a guest at some pretty big mega-churches, for example Joel Osteen's. Up until recently, I had not seen any of these movies, but with the release of "Madea's Witness Protection", I thought I'd take a gander of it.

First, let me mention some of the good (or at least, not all that offensive) parts in it. A part of the story does involve an aging pastor who has been ill and is looking to retire, and who wants to leave his congregation is good shape by having the church's mortgage paid off. There are some scenes during the church's worship, where Jesus does get mentioned in the songs they are singing. There is a bit of a pro-family message. And, in the biggest miracle of the entire movie, Denise Richardson's performance isn't entirely cringe-worthy (sorry, flashbacks to her as a Bond girl).

Having said all that...

The language used during the movie is horrible. While it does stop short of dropping F-bombs, almost everything short of that is used extensively. Madea gets upset when the daughter in the family staying with them expresses herself in language that Madea herself uses quite frequently. Madea encourages the young mother to "speak your d--- mind", and does so in a profanity-heavy way.

Along with that, the humor is often crude and vulgar. I'm still trying to scrub my brain clean from the conversation Madea's brother Joe had with the husband of the family staying in their house for protection, because it was nothing but vulgar.

There were some pretty funny moments in the movie, and the message wasn't bad, and I've no wish to doubt Perry's intentions. But why does he consider that using crude language and vulgar humor to be appropriate? Is the good message of the movie not seriously damaged by the crude sexual comments and the profanities? Is this what he thinks he must do to "cross over", to make his movies more acceptable to a general audience and not just church-folks? And if so, is it worth it?

Because though the message of the movie may not have been bad, how Christian was it? Where, for example, was the man who had been involved in the financial scandal told that Christ died to forgive what he had done, even if his sin was more of neglect and weakness than actually wanting to cheat others? Where is the rebellious daughter told to ask God to forgive her rebellion, not just against her family but against God Himself? Where was something like a clear presentation of the Gospel?

I really wish I could recommend this movie, but I simply in good conscience cannot.

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