BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE 2
**1/2 (out of 5)
January 27, 2006
Martin Lawrence as MALCOLM TURNER
Nia Long as SHERRY PIERCE
Emily Procter as LEAH FULLER
Zachary Levi as KEVIN KENEALLY
Mark Moses as TOM FULLER
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: John Whitesell
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
In this life, there are some things you can be sure of. Death. Taxes. And no one is ever going to utter the phrase: “Oscar winner Martin Lawrence.”
And no one knows this better than Martin Lawrence himself. He’s come a long way (some may say a long way down) from his hit television show “Martin,” but he is one man in Hollywood who understands his place in the world. He may be a predictable and overrated comedian, but he knows what his strengths are.
After an embarrassing slip into the sidekick role against Will Smith in “Bad Boys 2,” Lawrence found himself relegated to dopey family comedies like “Rebound.” There’s no doubt about it – Martin Lawrence has made his fair share of crap in his day. And there’s nothing wrong with that. A man’s gotta eat. And even Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman have made their fair share of crap.
So, if you decide to check out “Big Momma’s House 2,” you should know exactly what you’re getting into. As the sequel to the hit comedy five years ago, this version shows Malcolm Turner (Lawrence) with a new life in suburbia with sexy Nia Long as his wife. She’s pregnant now, and Malcolm is working in a low-impact public safety division of the FBI.
When Malcolm’s former partner is killed undercover, he takes it upon himself to investigate the crime. Malcolm pulls out the old fat suit and dresses up as Big Momma again to get a job as a nanny for a family linked to the crime.
It’s not that “Big Momma’s House 2” is a great work of art, or even a great film. However, it does have a certain amount of entertainment factor. Consider it to be the cinematic equivalent to Taco Bell. You might enjoy it to a degree, but you’re still going to end up with heartburn.
I’ve never seen the original “Big Momma’s House” in its entirety. I have caught parts of it on cable, but I’d hardly call myself an expert. So I’m not exactly qualified to judge whether it lives up to the integrity of old-fat-women jokes that we had in the first.
Ultimately, “Big Momma’s House” is what it is. It’s not going to surprise anyone. Of course, the plot unfolds with Big Momma becoming a wonderful influence on this family and helps turn them around. The movie falls into place with other fish-out-of-water nanny-style comedies like “The Pacifier” and “Bringing Down the House.” It’s not the best of the bunch, but I’ve seen worse.
Lawrence is annoying at times, and somewhat grotesque, as Big Momma. Some scenes work and others don’t. One that doesn’t is the obligatory spa scene which is completely out of place and serves no other purpose than for Malcolm to ogle naked women in the spa. (If only they had actually shown these naked women…) There are times when he’s trying a bit too hard, struggling to justify his career so he doesn’t have to beg Luke Wilson to make a sequel to “Blue Streak.”