‘Tyler Perry’s A Madea Homecoming’ Review: Tyler’s Hard Lemonade

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Midway through “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Homecoming,” there’s a gag that captures the humor of Perry’s multimedia Madea franchise. Perry halts the plot for a black-and-white flashback where his short-tempered, unfiltered titular matriarch tells the story of how she kick-started the Civil Rights movement by threatening her man’s mistress, Rosa Parks, who then took sanctuary on a Montgomery bus. As proof, Madea brandishes a photo she took in the moment on her smartphone. “My aPhone,” she says, “because they didn’t have iPhone back then — it was A before I.” It’s unapologetic, irreverent nonsense — but it should get a laugh, so why not? Perry, who claimed that he would retire his signature character after 2019’s “A Madea Family Funeral,” has resurrected Madea, it seems, in that same spirit: simply because he can.

This installment finds Madea hosting her great-grandson’s (Brandon Black) college graduation party. The event is really a pretext for a dozen family members to bust each other’s chops; to cackle when Mr. Brown (David Mann) sets himself on fire. It also gives Madea an audience to which she can voice her conflicting feelings about the Black Lives Matter movement: She’s annoyed that her granddaughter Ellie (Candace Maxwell) became a police officer, threatening Madea’s weed stash, but she’s equally irked at the idea that protesters could burn down her corner liquor store.

The script has plot twists so cuckoo they make soap operas look cowardly. Perry has even worked in a visit from his across-the-pond cross-dressing counterpart, the Irish comic actor Brendan O’Carroll, who plays the bosomy Agnes Brown on the Irish sitcom “Mrs. Brown’s Boys.” As the film speeds to a slapdash resolution, you might miss Perry’s one good speech about love — “Stop building them walls and build you some fences” — which can’t counterbalance a half-dozen hopelessly ridiculous ones. He’s apparently in a rush to get to the end credits sequence, where he changes into short-shorts and a blonde wig to lampoon the 2019 Beyoncé concert film “Homecoming.” Is there a reason this happens? Probably just because he can.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Homecoming
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes. Watch on Netflix.


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