Madea's Witness Protection
|Madea's Witness Protection|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tyler Perry|
|Written by||Tyler Perry|
|Music by||Aaron Zigman|
|Edited by||Maysie Hoy|
|Box office||$66.9 million|
Madea's Witness Protection is a 2012 American comedy film directed, written and produced by Tyler Perry. It is the fourteenth film by Perry and the sixth in the Madea franchise. It is the fourth Perry film not to be adapted from a play, alongside The Family That Preys, Daddy's Little Girls and Good Deeds, as well as the first Madea film not to be adapted from a play.
The film was filmed in Atlanta from mid to late January to the beginning of March 2012 and was released through 34th Street Films and Lionsgate. With total box office gross of about $67 million, Madea's Witness Protection is in the top three of Tyler Perry's most successful movies, after Boo! A Madea Halloween and Madea Goes to Jail.
George Needleman, a nerdy, high level CFO in New York City, promises his son that he will take him to his Saturday afternoon baseball game after he gets back from the office. He gets to his office and arrives to a harrowing scene; his co-workers are shredding documents and are in a state of chaos. He sees his boss, Walter, who informs him that his company is a Ponzi scheme run by the mob. He is being accused of spearheading the scheme and laundering funds and has to enter his family into a witness protection program. The program relocates them to a refuge where no one will think to look for them: Madea and Joe's house in Georgia.
Meanwhile, Jake – whose elderly, ailing father is a church pastor who has put him in charge of the church's mortgage fund – stages a robbery (which is unsuccessful). Jake, who has a criminal past but whose father trusts that he has turned over a new leaf, is trying to recover church funds that he has invested in Needleman's company without his father's knowledge or consent, only to lose the entire investment in the Ponzi scheme.
The Needlemans' first meeting with Madea and Joe is awkward and bodes poorly for how everyone will get along. However, over time, Madea helps Kate and Cindy relate better to each other and to other family members, while Joe and Kate help George become more confident, more in touch with his surroundings and people around him, and more effective in channeling his emotions. Barbara displays dual sensibilities about "colored people". On one hand, she mistakes Madea for a domestic named Sadie, treats "Sadie" imperiously, and threatens to get her fired. On the other hand, she recognizes Joe as a man she slept with years ago (and George's biological father), and relates to him seductively; she also enjoys Negro spirituals and repeatedly asks to be taken to the African American church down the street from Madea's house.
Pastor Nelson's sermon inspires George to recognize a pattern in his company's records that explains where 10% of the stolen funds have been stashed. After church, watching Whoopi Goldberg's Oda Mae Brown character in Ghost inspires George to involve Madea in a plan to redivert funds from the "stashed" accounts back to the charities whose investments were stolen in the Ponzi scheme. The plan requires George (who disguises himself as a Frenchman to avoid detection by the Malone mob "family"), Jake, and Madea (who assumes the identity of an upscale woman named Precious Jackson) to travel to New York City, and for "Precious" to meet with a bank manager to transfer funds from the laundered accounts to the legitimate charities. Madea successfully accomplishes her mission, although she improvises both an expansion of her assumed identity (by pretending to be the oldest Jackson sister) and of the accounts to which "Precious's" funds are transferred by having some money sent to her real bank account, unbeknownst to George and Jake.
When George and Jake begin to share their plan with Brian (Perry), he cuts them off and advises them it's illegal. However, after they pull off the caper, Brian informs George that his cooperation with the authorities and his successful efforts to return the charities' funds have given Brian leverage to dismiss the charges against George. Kate points out to George that the situation has strengthened their relationship and their family, and that it is a blessing in disguise. Upon leaving Madea's house, Cindy and Howie ask if they can come back to visit but both Madea and Joe immediately decline (though Madea does so in a sweet demeanor).
Before returning to New York, the Needlemans visit Pastor Nelson's church one last time. The Pastor and Jake burn the mortgage papers and the entire congregation celebrates the mortgage's being paid off, and the Needlemans enjoy the Negro spirituals. Madea also enjoys the spiritual music from her front porch, celebrating her new wealth.
- Tyler Perry as Mabel "Madea" Simmons, Brian Simmons and Uncle Joe Simmons
- Eugene Levy as George Needleman
- Denise Richards as Kate Needleman
- Romeo Miller as Jake Nelson
- Doris Roberts as Barbara Needleman
- Danielle Campbell as Cindy Needleman, the daughter and older child of George Needleman from a previous relationship.
- Devan Leos as Howie Needleman, the son of George and Kate Needleman and George's youngest child.
- John Amos as Pastor Nelson
- Marla Gibbs as Hattie (cameo)
- Tom Arnold as Walter Burns
- Jeff Joslin as Lucas
- Charlie Sheen as Himself (uncredited cameo)
The film received generally negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 19% based on 36 reviews, with an average rating of 3.82/10. On Metacritic, the film has a 42/100 rating, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Madea's Witness Protection has received five Golden Raspberry Award nominations including Worst Actress (Tyler Perry as Madea), Worst Director, Worst Screen Couple (Perry and his drag getup), Worst Screen Ensemble and Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel.
The film opened with $25,390,575 in its opening weekend, ranking #4 behind Ted, Magic Mike, and Brave. As of August 2019 the film has grossed total of $66,899,242 worldwide, surpassing its $20 million budget, making it a financial success despite poor reviews.
Madea's Witness Protection was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on October 23, 2012.
- "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- Madea's Witness Protection at Box Office Mojo
- "Madea's Witness Protection". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
- "Tyler Perry box office total grosses". Retrieved 2012-09-02.
- Madea's Witness Protection at Rotten Tomatoes
- Madea's Witness Protection at Metacritic
- Weekend Box Office Results for June 29-July 1, 2012 Box Office Mojo