Boo! is certainly the most watchable Madea movie I've seen in a long time, even though I get the feeling Perry still doesn't know how to direct for the screen.
Madea remains a distinctive, weirdly compelling character. Maybe someday Perry will make a good comedy for her.
Mr. Perry is ... an eccentric, inspired performer, and his screen-filling antics as the raucous but righteous Madea - a character who runs through Mr. Perry's stage, film and TV work - is the truly pertinent component here.
This comedy is unlikely to win over any new fans, but the devoted will find comfort in the familiarity.
At 103 minutes, this film has way too much dead weight. Scenes are repeated over and over, and some of the acting would not cut it in a school play.
"A Madea Halloween" is rare for Perry in that it's one of only two "Madea" films not adapted from a stage play, but it sure feels like one, with several scenes ... feeling like a one-act, one-room play that goes on and on and on.
Although there's a long cinematic tradition of mixing comedy with scares to excellent effect - Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein being a prime example - this lackluster effort manages to be neither funny nor scary.
As usual, this latest Perry Madea flick is all about laughs - nothing less and nothing more. With Boo!, you'll laugh hard, even when the jokes feel too slapsticky, too vulgar, too over-the-top.
It's another of Perry's raucous and slovenly comedies of responsibility, which means that its heart is in a very old - and right - place. If only a message that was this solid equalled solid laughs.