Big Momma’s House 2 (2006)

Men in drag is one of the truest tenets of comedy. Billy Wilder proved it, Dustin Hoffman proved it, even Robin Williams proved it. Eddie Murphy found career resurgence when he put on a fat suit for 1996’s The Nutty Professor. I think Martin Lawrence thought, why not combine them both? Thus was the unholy birth of 2000’s Big Momma’s House, where Lawrence goes undercover for the FBI as a morbidly obese older woman. If that doesn’t spell comedy then what will. Forgotten amidst the fat jokes and flatulence is the fact that Oscar-nominated Paul Giamatti was Lawrence’s beleaguered co-star.

Now, I myself had never seen the first trip to Big Momma’s House but in order to give a rounder opinion of the year 2006 in film, I felt it was my duty to see its sequel. For fun I felt a traditional review would do a disservice to the fine craftsmanship and invigorating cinema I was about to witness, so I decided to create a rundown of my viewing thoughts by the minute. Here, ladies and gents, is Big Momma’s House 2. Beware plot spoilers below.

03: Martin Lawrence is dressed as an eagle and teaching kids about safety during a school assembly. Somehow his adolescent stepson is embarrassed by this.

04: Apparently Mrs. Big Momma (Gabriel Union) has a bun in the oven. Or an egg in the nest. She has the most unrealistic looking pregnancy ever. It’s almost like a cone.

10: Lawrence climbs back into the fat suit to go undercover as a nanny to stop computer hackers from dismantling the secrets of national security and selling them to terrorists. That’s right, it’s Big Momma vs. terrorism.

11: Also, apparently the rich do not do background checks on those in charge of watching their children. Has Dateline taught us nothing?

18: Here are the kids: dumb kid, cheerleader wannabe, and Hot Topic rocker chick (the daughter in 40 Year-Old Virgin that wanted to have sex).

22: Wife discovers Lawrence’s secret supply of XXXXXXXXL panties. Does she not know of Big Momma?

26: Nope. No she doesn’t, as she mentions her concern to a gal pal. “A woman this big wearing a thong? That can’t be comfortable.” Cue cut to Big Momma lamenting her thong. Why is Lawrence even wearing a thong? What are the benefits of dressing as a large woman and also wearing a thong?

32: Even the FBI, who put Big Momma into the field years ago, doesn’t even know Big Momma is not real. No wonder we have intelligence failures. Send Big Momma to fix Iraq. That’s a sequel I’d be interested in.

34: What school plays “Baby Got Back” for a gym dance class? Big Momma shows the uncoordinated cheerleader wannabe how to dance. The gym leaders ask for Big Momma to lead them to glory. Maybe he/she can also sink the winning last-second shot for the high school basketball championship too.

40: 19-year-old Chad is lurking in the bushes for the 15-year-old Hot Topic girl. Nothing spells romantic like “lurking” and “interested in dating a 15-year-old.” Again, did Dateline teach us nothing?

45: Lawrence has to spy on the baddies and attempt to outrun his pregnant wife. Who do you think will win in a footrace?

46: The FBI finally realizes Big Momma is neither. The FBI earns a lollipop.

48: Lawrence decides to actually do housework for his nanny job but he decides to do it outside of his Big Momma costume, you know, in case the family walks in and wonders what a strange man is doing cleaning dishes and cooking dinner.

49: Big Momma pours the doggie a bowl full of tequila to lift its spirits. Dog depression is no laughing matter.

52: Big Momma teaches young girls how to dance like video stars.

56: Big Momma is at a spa with naked women and massages. Her advice to women for long-lasting marriage: put out often. That’s Big Momma for you, teaching our youth to dance salaciously, liquoring up animals, and turning back on the clock on feminism.

60: Big Momma runs on the beach in a 10 parody that no one seeing the movie will ever get. I guess it’s supposed to be funny because she’s fat? I think that’s the punchline for most of the movie.

63: Again, the limitations of an agent undercover in a fat suit (and thong) are revealed when Big Momma tries to chase down a suspect.

73: The dumb kid’s first words are, “Big Momma.” Then, “stakeout” and “investigate” and “hackneyed plot.” I made that last one up but it would have been something.

79: Big Momma enters a club to rescue Hot Topic girl at her plea. Oh, but Chad did not send a message it’s… THE BAD GUYS! And they’re taking her and Big Momma hostage.

80: My first laugh. Hot Topic girl and Big Momma tied in the back of a speeding van and rolling on top of each other with the sharp turns. Big Momma crushes the girl. Hot Topic Girl: “This is not how I imagined my death.” I’ll say.

83: Big Momma on a jet ski battles terrorists. Doesn’t being a large woman also make you a bigger target for bullets? Regardless, she kicks ass and we’re treated to a half-hearted payoff for thong wearing.

86: Big Momma gets shot just as the FBI arrives to shoot the bad guy. Excellent timing. Big Momma saves the day and is unmasked.

89: Have no fear, Big Momma stands in for the girls’ cheerleading dance. They apparently have a matching uniform in Big Momma size. There’s nothing Big Momma can’t do except star in a decent movie.

93: Lawrence brings home his new baby. He also threatens, in voice over, “You never know when Big Momma might be back.” Great, now I have to check under my bed every night.

I’m somewhat surprised that the movie isn’t as bad as I had feared. It’s mostly bland, with cookie-cutter characters, contrived situations, mishandled life lessons, and a dearth of comedy. Martin Lawrence must have been in bad shape to bring the fat suit out of the closet for one more go-round. The film is a dumb comedy that relies heavily on slapstick and Lawrence’s patter but neither ever feels inspired. This is a big bland mess, but it’s somewhat depressing in how cut-and-paste it all is and still designed to boost Lawrence’s career. If it wasn’t obvious before, it should be now — it’s time for Big Momma to pack her bags for good.

Nate?s Grade: D+

About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on January 2, 2007, in 2006 Movies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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