When Madea catches sixteen-year-old Jennifer and her two younger brothers looting her home, she decides to take matters into her own hands and delivers the young delinquents to the only ... See full summary »
Taraji P. Henson,
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Temptation: A Seduction Plot Lacking Requisite Sexual Chemistry
Temptation is a step up from Tyler Perry's previous ho-hum Alex Cross, but it still a far cry from being the kind film one would gush over. The two biggest draws in the film are Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Kim Kardashian. Smollett, who in her last film "The Great Debaters" (2007) gave an outstanding performance in great chemistry with stellar young ensemble, was not as bless with as high of a cast quality. Nevertheless, her acting as the seduced wife Judith was stretched in some new ways in "Temptation" and on the whole she doesn't do badly.
Kardashian, is irritating in her role as Ava, Judith's work colleague, but then again, that is what her character is suppose to be. As such -- many other critics' assessment notwithstanding, Kardashian's acting is neither good nor bad, but simply OK.
As for the plot, Tyler Perry(writer and director) puts forward an interesting treatment of the issues of spousal and professional dissatisfaction, and how that can be used in a seduction passion play. A decent directorial effort, but Perry is still struggling with some filmmaking fundamentals such as pacing, camera angle decisions, and very irritatingly, sound editing. There were points where the critical dialogue of protagonists seducer and seducee was too mumbled to be anything close to erotic.
The film's biggest failing is the sexual chemistry between Judith and Harley(played by Robbie Jones). It just doesn't seem like a credible attraction. Whether the actors, casting or direction is to blame, who knows? But any Perry movie these days has to be considered high profile -- if for no other reason than his large audience drawing -- and as such, anything short of smoking sexual chemistry represents a critical movie failure. I keep rooting for Perry, but this is typical of his best films -- mixed quality, mixed results.
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