Film Review: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
2011– 107mn – PG
Directed by John Whitesell. Starring Martin Lawrence, Brandon T. Jackson. Review by Walter Nichols.
Further proof, if needed, that Martin Lawrence has some kind of pact with the devil. The 90s star broke through in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, got his own sitcom on TV, became a star alongside Will Smith in the Bad Boys films, and has spent the past 15 years recycling his cartoonish, lazy persona in studio comedies, getting paid $10 million a pop in spite of most of them flopping spectacularly at the box-office.
The original Big Momma (2000) was bad enough, but it made enough money for an even worse sequel to be made six years later. In them, Lawrence plays an FBI agent who has to go undercover as an overweight Southern woman to solve various crimes. No one ever questions his persona (the original film even presents him as a “master of disguise”), even though his make-up is awful, his demeanor masculine and his voice growly. But never mind logic: the premises are just an excuse for sexist, fattist, and poop-‘n’-fart humor.
It’s now been five years since the first sequel, and Lawrence must have a swimming pool to build, so he’s back in Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son. The “plot” is a lazy twist on Some Like It Hot. Lawrence’s character and his stepson Trent (there’s literally no reason for him to have a stepson, other than the fact that progeny is the uninventive Hollywood screenwriter’s go-to sequel excuse) go undercover in an all-girl performing school to catch a murderer. 107 minutes of teeth-pulling agony that could hardly be called comedy ensue. Witless, clich�d, wooden, the film’s a mash up of the worst racial and gender stereotypes since the age of vaudeville, starved of any humanity or respect for the audience.
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Star rating: 0 out of 5 stars
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