“Tyler Perry's Acrimony” stars Taraji P. Henson, Lyriq Bent, Crystle Stewart, and Danielle Nicolet. Released on March 30, 2018, the film is about a woman who takes revenge on her unfaithful husband.
The film is written and directed by Tyler Perry, who is mostly known for directing the Madea films. While we wait for Perry to make the next installment in his Madea series, we’re going to shift away from the ups and downs of life and focus more on the downs. This latest entry in Tyler Perry’s series of non-Madea films is a much different approach compared to his other works, which were comedy-dramas, romance dramas, and an occasional tragedy drama, because it deals with how a single act of acrimony can affect someone’s personality and actions in a more dramatic and depressing way. Perry’s last film, Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, was a huge misfire for me, so even though I wasn’t really excited to see his new film, I was hoping that it will help him recover from his critical blow. Unsurprisingly, it did just that, but I wouldn’t call it his best non-Madea film yet. Not by a long shot.
As I mentioned earlier, the film focuses on a person’s descent into madness and hatred that may lead to one’s own demise. In this case, that person is Melinda (Henson), who started a relationship with another college student named Robert Gayle (Bent). A series of incidents that occurred in the film not only lead to their divorce, but also Melinda’s breaking point when she found out that he’s engaged to someone else. If you’re expecting this to be like Perry’s other films that offered both comedy and drama in everyday life, then you have walked into the wrong movie. This is the type of film that you don’t want to watch when you’re having a bad day or going through a rough time with your loved one. The entire movie is about as upsetting as the concept itself, which can turn off people who aren’t into depressing movies. I don’t blame the movie because of that, but I do blame it for not displaying strong storytelling. It’s not entirely bad. It’s just…underwhelming. I give Tyler Perry credit for tackling this type of issue, especially with what other people are dealing with during their relationships, but his sense of melodrama and the film’s bland and simplistic plot overshadowed the concept almost immediately. Taraji P. Henson once again showcased her amazing talent in her role as Melinda. Like her performance in “Proud Mary”, Henson was never afraid to portray someone who will kick people’s butts if they manage to tick her off, whether it’s with her fists or her threatening facial expressions. The rest of the performances range from mediocre to passable. Probably the weakest performance out of all of them has to go to the actor who portrayed the teenage version of Robert Gayle, Antonio Madison. I’m not sure if he’s new to the acting business or not, but his attempt at displaying the character fell completely flat in terms of how he expresses his dialogue. After getting past the first half of the movie, I reached the point where I just couldn’t care anymore. The main characters made plenty of stupid decisions for about two hours, but the film’s weak attempts at providing emotional depth prevented me from feeling connected to them. In fact, their actions (mostly Robert’s) made me want to take my popcorn tub and whack them in the face with it. That’s what my experience is like with this film. It’s bland in several parts and it made me mad in a bad way.
Overall, “Acrimony” is a huge basket full of drama and nothing but drama, but like Tyler Perry’s other films, it’ll satisfy plenty of fans of the actor/director, but not everybody else. Taraji P. Henson was riveting in her main role and the film’s concept is worth a discussion or two, but compared to the other films that dealt with this issue, this one is by far the least convincing. Its underwhelming storytelling, mediocre performances, and uncaring characters were the main reasons why a divorce is needed between me and the film itself. If you like Henson in her other movies, it’s worth watching for her performance alone. Otherwise, you’re better off watching it at home.