Review: ‘Not Another Church Movie,’ starring Kevin Daniels, Vivica A. Fox, Lamorne Morris, Tisha Campbell, Jasmine Guy, Mickey Rourke and Jamie Foxx

May 10, 2024

by Carla Hay

Kevin Daniels in “Not Another Church Movie” (Photo courtesy of Briarcliff Entertainment)

“Not Another Church Movie”

Directed by Johnny Mack

Culture Representation: Taking place in Savannah, Georgia, the comedy film “Not Another Church Movie” features a predominantly African American cast of characters (with some white people) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: Jack-of-all-trades Taylor Pherry (a parody of Tyler Perry) tries to launch a career as a screenwriter. 

Culture Audience: “Not Another Church Movie” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of Tyler Perry, but even his fans will be turned off by this pointless and obnoxious movie.

Jamie Foxx in “Not Another Church Movie” (Photo courtesy of Briarcliff Entertainment)

If you think most of Tyler Perry’s movies are bad, they look like masterpieces compared to “Not Another Church Movie,” which is a painfully unfunny and trashy parody of Tyler Perry and his movies. Any money spent on this horrid junk is money that is wasted.

Written and directed by Johnny Mack, “Not Another Church Movie” is nothing but abysmally written skits thrown together, in a feeble attempt to look like real movie plot. Mack makes his feature-film directorial debut with “Not Another Church Movie.” His previous experience has been in television, as a writer for BET’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood” and several BET Awards ceremonies.

That might explain why “Not Another Church Movie” looks like a rejected sitcom idea or a vapid joke at a third-rate awards show. It might explain the movie’s low quality, but it doesn’t excuse it. There are many children who are amateur comedians on social media who are a lot funnier and smarter than “Not Another Church Movie,” which is nothing but bottom-of-the-barrel dreck.

Don’t let some of the celebrity names in the cast fool you into thinking “Not Another Church Movie” is worth watching. This isn’t the first bad movie for any of these celebrities, but it’s one of their worst. “Not Another Church Movie” is also a “bait and switch” fraud because the biggest stars in the movie—Jamie Foxx, Mickey Rourke and Vivica A. Fox—are in the film for less than five minutes each. “Not Another Church Movie” is terrible on every single level and is a humiliating failure for everyone involved.

The movie’s so-called “plot” is that a “jack of all trades” character named Taylor Pherry (played by Kevin Daniels), who lives in the Georgia city of Savannah, decides to become a screenwriter, while various mishaps and annoyances happen to him and to people who know him. (“Not Another Church Movie” was filmed on location in Savannah and other parts of Georgia.) A running joke that quickly gets tiresome is that the “p” in Pherry is silent, so Taylor constantly has to tell people how to correctly pronounce his last name.

“Not Another Church Movie” opens with a scene showing Taylor as a successful filmmaker, while the rest of the movie shows how he got to where he is. Taylor proudly tells viewers that before he became a filmmaker, he held several day jobs at the same time, including being a public defender, a surgeon and a pizza delivery person. It’s a dull parody of how the real Perry struggled for years in various jobs before he became a hit filmmaker.

Meanwhile, a rich and famous TV talk show host named Hoprah Windfall (played by Luc Ashley), who’s a parody of Oprah Winfrey, announces to her studio audience that even though her latest movie was a flop, she still has her wealth. Hoprah says she’s ready to retire from her talk show. She’s gotten a little tired of her protégés Dr. Bill and Dr. Loz (in other words, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz), so she’s looking for a new protégé to be her next “pet project” and possibly her successor.

And that’s where Taylor supposedly will conveniently fit into the story, except Hoprah disappears for most of the movie. Instead, “Not Another Church Movie” becomes an annoying hodgepodge of messy ideas thrown together. And the results are not funny at all.

“Not Another Church Movie” is a low point in the career of Oscar-winning actor Foxx, who portrays a buffoonish, motorcycle-riding character named God, who is supposed to help Hoprah search for her successor. God is the one who tells Taylor to become a writer. The only other things that this God character does is ride his motorycle and has boardroom meetings in the clouds with 10 sycophant angels. During these meetings, God (wearing a very cheap-looking wig) tells horrible racial jokes.

At least Foxx has scenes where he’s actually in the same room as some cast members. Rourke plays the Devil like someone in a stupor reading wall graffiti. It’s obvious that Rourke did all of his acting for the movie without any other cast members there. He’s just “dropped” into the movie with some very sloppy visual effects that try to make the Devil look like he can suddenly appear wherever he wants. This Devil character should have been one of the funniest characters in the movie, but he just utters a bunch of forgettable lines, like an incoherent drunk person who’s not capable of saying more than six sentences in a row.

Taylor’s aunt is MaDude (also played by Daniels), who is a parody of Perry’s sassy and elderly Madea character. MaDude’s brother is a grouch named Moe Himms (played by Wayne Stamps), a parody of Perry’s Joe Simmons character in the “Madea” movies. Mo Himms’ only purpose in “Not Another Church Movie” is to insult MaDude and pass gas for idiotic fart jokes. MaDude and Moe Himms bicker a lot in several unfunny scenes throughout the film.

Some of the worst scenes in the movie take place at the courthouse where rude and incompetent Judge Loreal (played by Fox)—who hates men and white people—presides over family law cases and criminal cases. A truly atrocious sequence takes place during a divorce trial where a man named Darnell (played by T’Shaun Barrett) brings three blonde women named Karen to the courtroom. Darnell announces that they are his mistresses, and they gave him money for his legal fees “because that’s what white women do.” Darnell also collectively calls these Karens the “KKK.”

Darnell’s estranged wife Ellen (played by Brittney Jefferson) is Taylor’s cousin. Ellen and Darnell are going through a bitter divorce. Taylor is Ellen’s divorce attorney. Even though Darnell treats Ellen badly and wants the divorce, Ellen pathetically wants Darnell to get back together with her. The judge awards half of Darnell’s assets to Ellen, which leads to a deplorable scene of MaDude showing up to the former couple’s home with a chainsaw. You can easily predict what happens next.

Several of Perry’s movies are spoofed and/or namechecked in “Not Another Church Movie.” The 2007 film “Daddy’s Little Girls” is parodied with several moronic scenes featuring a single father named Monte Carlo (played by Lamorne Morris), who is raising three underage girls: Not Precious (played by Zaleigh Jackson), Less Precious (played by Kennedy Weston) and Least Precious (played by Zoë Parks), who don’t talk much in their scenes.

Many of Perry’s movies (take your pick) are about single women struggling to find true love and getting involved with the wrong men. Those movies are parodied too. A newly divorced Ellen gets back into the dating scene and meets a vain loser named Tallahassee (also played by Barrett), a one-joke character who is obsessed with how he looks, especially his painted-on, rock-hard abdomen. Tallahassee drives a truck for his small business called Tally Hoes Moving and Storage. That’s all you need to know about what type of obnoxious character Tallahassee is.

Taylor has a colleague who is a successful district attorney named Julie (played by Kearia Schroeder), who needs a car driver. Taylor recommends Monte for the job, and Monte is quickly hired. Monte is rude to Julie on the job, by calling her names like “sugar tits,” “stupid” and “bitch.” In this loathsome and misogynistic movie, Julie doesn’t fire Monte and does nothing about these insults. The filmmakers of “Not Another Church Movie” want the audience to think all of this is hilarious.

Taylor has a family member named Beverly (played by Kyla Pratt), a middle-aged single mother who is financially struggling. Her teenage son Michael (played by Jaden L. Miller) has grown up not knowing who his father is, but he finds out in the movie. Beverly is so broke, she flashes her breasts at a bus driver named Tyrone (played by Pierre Edwards) so that she can get a free ride on the bus. (There is no nudity in “Not Another Church Movie,” but the movie uses the “joke” of a woman flashing naked body parts more than once.)

Perry’s 2009 film “Madea Goes to Jail” is imitated with a sequence where MaDude gets in a car chase with police and ends up getting arrested. Guess who’s the judge in her courtroom appearance. There are also a few silly scenes parodying 2016’s “Boo! A Madea Halloween” and the even-worse 2017 sequel “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween.”

Perry’s 2008 film “Meet the Browns” (which spawned a TV series of the same name) is spoofed with the married characters Flora Black (played by Tisha Campbell) and Mr. Black (played by Yves B. Claude), who are mindless stereotypes. Flora has an artificially large behind that is literally the butt of some of the movie’s awful jokes. Mr. Black is supposed to be so stupid, he accidentally sets himself on fire at a family cookout. Jasmine Guy has a weird and out-of-place cameo in the movie as a cleaning lady named Miss Mildew.

“Not Another Church Movie” is so unfocused, it also spoofs the Oscar-nominated 1991 drama “Boyz n the Hood,” which is about three teenage friends affected by gang violence in South Central Los Angeles. Needless to say, the only awards that are suitable for “Not Another Church Movie” are Razzie Awards because it’s by far one of the worst films of the year. And for a movie called “Not Another Church Movie,” hardly any of it takes place in a church. The only real church scene is at the end. The end of “Not Another Church Movie” can’t come soon enough for any viewer who endures this onslaught of foul filmmaking.

Briarcliff Entertainment released “Not Another Church Movie” in U.S. cinemas on May 10, 2024.

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