Tyler Perry’s “Boo! A Madea Halloween” opened on October 21st of last year, and a few weeks later, Lionsgate ordered a sequel for 2017. Perry may be the only person in the entertainment industry who could pull that off.
And he has! “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” has pretty much the same vibe as the first film. Once again Perry plays Brian, the wishy-washy dad to bratty teenage daughter Tiffany. And, once again, it’s Halloween and the now 18-year-old Tiffany wants to go to the local Frat Boys Halloween party.
Brian’s Aunt Madea and company are back to lend their opinions and provide comic relief. For the first half of “Boo 2!”, Madea, brother Joe (also played by Perry), Hattie and Bam are the sideline commentators to Brian’s interactions with Tiffany and his ex-wife. These long scenes produce a few chuckles. About one out of every 20 one-liners actually works – not a great percentage.
The second half of “Boo 2!” takes place at a haunted campground, the site of the party, where legend has it, more than a dozen people were killed decades ago. Tiffany and her friends go, over the objections of her father and Madea. She, Joe and the others head to the party to try to save the day.
There are plot holes and conveniences, and some elements of the story go absolutely nowhere. But story isn’t what’s made these Madea movies work for more than a decade. It’s the comedy – and Perry provides enough laughs with the wisecracks and ridiculous situations to satisfy his audience.
However, like “Boo 1”, “Boo 2!” includes plenty of dry spells, including all of the scenes featuring the young supporting cast (which make-up about half the movie).
This isn’t the most technically well-made Madea movie. Perry dubs-in the word “darn” over the word “damn” every time Madea speaks – likely a last-minute deal to save the film’s PG-13 rating. There are other editing issues as well, and a five-minute gag reel before the credits that is completely unnecessary.
It’s pretty clear that Madea and Perry have done just about all they can with Halloween. Next-up: “A Madea Family Funeral”, out next August. With that premise to work with let’s hope the actor/writer/director/producer and his alter-ego can scare-up a few more laughs than they do here.
On The Official LCJ Report Card, “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” gets a C.
Running Time: 102 min.