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Overall Rating
1.72

Awesome: 6.52%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 6.52%
Pretty Bad: 32.61%
Total Crap54.35%

5 reviews, 16 user ratings


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Big Momma's House 2
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by Peter Sobczynski

"By the way-Happy Black History Month!"
1 stars

Perhaps the greatest unnecessary sequel to grace theater screens since “Underworld: Evolution” debuted last week, “Big Momma’s House 2" is a wheezy retread of jokes that weren’t especially funny the first time around and exists only because the 2000 original inexplicably grossed over $100 million at the box-office and presumably did just as well on home video. Evidently, someone out there must have thought the notion of Martin Lawrence doing his standard shrieking and mugging while encased in pounds of latex and foam rubber was amusing but even they would be hard-pressed to find anything of value in this virtually worthless and mirthless follow-up. If Hell had a multiplex, this is the film that would be playing in the tiniest and most uncomfortable shoebox in the joint.

As the story, for lack of a more suitable term, begins, hotshot FBI agent Malcolm Turner (Lawrence), now married to the hugely (and unconvincingly) pregnant Sherry (Nia Long, making a thankless return while no doubt envying Terrence Howard and Paul Giamatti, two other actors from the original whose career prospects have improved enough to spare them from making appearances), is working a desk job and entertaining grade schools be dressing as an eagle and setting himself on fire. When he learns that his mentor–the man who taught him everything he knows and the like–is killed while working undercover on a case involving a super-powerful virus designed to control every government computer program, he decides to crack the case on his own. Luckily, one of the chief suspects in the case, a software designer played by Mark Moses, is in the market for a new nanny and Malcolm decides to crack out his Big Momma disguise in order to get the job and search for clues. Lucky for him, the foam and latex has remained perfectly intact over the last six years despite simply being dumped in the back of a closet. (For that matter, why does he still even have a full-size likeness of a relative–Big Momma, if I recall, was Sherry’s grandmother–lying around in the first place, unless it is being used as some kind of foreplay that I don’t even want to speculate about.)

Luck definitely seems to be with him because even though Mom (Emily Proctor) is an uptight control freak who has a colored peg on her pegboard for every possible detail, she is perfectly willing to entrust her children and household to a stranger with no resume or references. Then again, considering her singularly appalling brood, maybe she is trying to get rid of them in the most passive-aggressive manner possible. The oldest daughter is a surly type who hangs out with the wrong kind of boys and acts all “rebellious,” the younger daughter wants to be a cheerleader despite a pronounced lack of coordination and the youngest is a three-year-old boy who hasn’t spoken a word and spends all of his time leaping from bookshelves and cabinets and bellyflopping on the ground. (Unlike most control-freak mothers that you and I might know, who would have that child under the constant supervision of specialists, Mom doesn’t seem to find anything unusual with these behavior traits.) These are all staggeringly uninteresting problems, to be sure, but the filmmakers seem to be under the impression that in between the scenes in which we aren’t laughing at a dragged-up Lawrence trying to stop the bad guys from doing whatever the hell they are doing, audiences are clamoring to see a bunch of boring white people having their problems solved by heart-to-heart talks with annoying comedians wearing drag makeup that even Tyler Perry might find questionable.

I know that I am not supposed to bring up something like logic in regards to something called “Big Momma’s House 2" but this film makes so little sense on so many levels that it seems to be deliberately rubbing its incoherence in the face of its viewers. The original film was hardly a symbol of narrative cohesion but at least there was some reason–tenuous though it might have been–for Lawrence to be dressing up as a 400-pound woman. Here, there is no point to bringing that particular character back other than the delusion on the part of Lawrence and the filmmakers that the very sight of him in that disguise in inherently hilarious. In fact, the film seems to go out of its way to underline just how implausible it is. Presumably, his disguise, in real life, would involve a lot of padding and latex appliances for the visible body parts. Here, he is apparently encased head-to-toe in latex appliances, apparently assuming that he would at some point be called upon to go to the beach or a day spa or some other locations where more of his “skin” would be uncovered. We are supposed to be laughing at the sight of him gadding about in a one-piece bathing suit like Bo Derek in “10" (including, I fear, the corn-row braids) but I found myself trying not to notice the obvious fissures from the edges of the appliances. Maybe this was meant to distract us from noticing that even though he is supposed to be undercover with the kids at that point, he still chases a suspect, pulls a gun and announces “FBI” without anyone apparently noticing.

To keep my mind from wandering–a considerable task when you consider that “Big Momma’s House 2" is the worst film that will be playing in your local multiplex this weekend, even if the place has only two screens and “Bloodrayne” is on the other one–I tried to keep note of all the little things that did inadvertently amuse me even as the obvious comedy was falling flat and came up with a grand total of three. I liked the fact that the software company that the father was working for was given the subtle name of “National Agenda Software.” There is a look–half-appalled and half-incredulous–given towards the end by the surly teen (played by Kat Dennings, who was the surly teen in the infinitely funnier “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”) as Big Momma does some more stupid schtick that I found to be the only realistic emotion in the entire film. Finally, I was amused to find that there are at least four occasions during the film in which characters tell Big Momma (and those of us still in the audience by extension) how funny and charming and entertaining she is–if the character were actually funny, charming and entertaining in even the slightest degree, I doubt we would have needed the reminders.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=13773&reviewer=389
originally posted: 01/28/06 09:35:56
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User Comments

2/19/09 Gwen This was a very funny cool emotional fun movie. 5 stars
1/12/09 Shaun Wallner This movie was stupid! 1 stars
2/04/08 Pamela White Lawrence should not do sequals 2 stars
12/22/06 John Z Not as good as the original 2 stars
12/17/06 alaa' tadros what is the song in the cheerleading competitoin 5 stars
10/24/06 amg What is the song that is played @ the beach scene ? it owns 5 stars
7/25/06 Ryan_A Completely unnecessary, and not the least bit funny or entertaining. 1 stars
5/29/06 Charlene Javier Good for a few laughs. 3 stars
5/19/06 Staci Scott Weinberg's review is so extremely accurate (and hilarious), I have nothing to add. 1 stars
5/18/06 Alfred Guy He's still not funny! This is the last for me. 1 stars
4/08/06 Frank Rountree It was worse than the first one 2 stars
4/06/06 Troy M. Grzych This is Martin Lawerence's version of "Mrs. Doubtfire'" but not as funny. 3 stars
2/20/06 Sean D You've been warned. Understand? You've been fucking warned 1 stars
2/17/06 Soha Molina average 3 stars
1/30/06 james if you like fat black tranvestite cops this is your movie 1 stars
1/28/06 Popem Why is Martin Lawrence still allowed to make movies? 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  27-Jan-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 09-May-2006

UK
  10-Feb-2006

Australia
  26-Jan-2006


Directed by
  John Whitesell

Written by
  Don Rhymer

Cast
  Martin Lawrence
  Nia Long
  Emily Procter
  Zachary Levi
  Mark Moses



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