From 2003 up until 2007, I was lucky enough to have “movie reviewer” as my job description. As such, I’ve built up a *lot* of reviews for just about every movie that came out during those years, as well as reviews of classic movies. This is one of the reviews I originally wrote during that time.
I can sum up my reaction to Big Momma’s House 2, the movie I wanted to see least this week, in four words: It could’ve been worse.
No, that doesn’t mean it’s a good movie. You can see the cliches coming from a mile away. But considering the movie didn’t make me try to claw my eyes out until the very end and actually elicited a few laughs, it should be regarded as a monumental success.
The beginning of the movie holds little hope, to be honest. Malcolm Turner, Martin Lawrence’s FBI-agent-turned-PR-rep, finds that his former partner has been killed while working on a case, and his boss refuses to let Malcolm in on it. There’s the expected scene where Malcolm is threatened with loss of badge, job, etc. and so forth if he gets too near to the case, but that won’t turn him away because if it did, we wouldn’t have a movie, now would we?
Malcolm finds out that the family the FBI is watching needs a new nanny. Of course, he still has his fat suit from Big Momma’s House, and Big Momma is the perfect undercover disguise.
Thus, he joins the Fuller family, with father Tom, the reluctant criminal, and ultra-busy mother Leah, and their three kids: Molly, the stock rebellious teenager, Carrie, the stock “normal” child (she’s a cheerleader), and Andrew, the toddler who likes to jump off bunk beds and cabinets and eat inedible things like sand and Brillo pads.
Now, hilarity and hijinks ensue as Malcolm juggles the kids’ schedules, the household chores, and tries to get close enough to Tom to break the case. Of course, this will somehow necessitate him going to a day spa as Big Momma so that we can all laugh heartily as he both ogles the half-naked hot women and tries desperately to avoid getting caught.
Malcolm’s second foray into cross-dressing also reveals several problems not related to his big case that will have to be solved. He’ll need to bring the Fuller family back together and learn to appreciate his own family, stepson Trent and wife Sherrie (Nia Long, with the fakest-looking pregnant belly I’ve ever seen). Let’s say it together now: Awww…
This is a sequel that, while unnecessary, is neither much better nor much worse than its predecessor. Martin Lawrence occasionally has some funny lines or a good reaction shot, but the biggest laughs in the movie belong to little Andrew, what with his penchant for high-diving onto solid ground, and Poncho, the family’s broken-hearted Chihuahua whom Big Momma feeds tequila.
There’s the occasional lapse in logic (why on Earth would a trained FBI agent wander around the home he’d infiltrated without his disguise?), and they stick to the formula for this kind of movie like a drowning man to a life raft. I swear Hollywood has three plots for law enforcement-related comedies and it will use every one of them over and over until Judgment Day.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Big Momma’s House 2 will win the box office this weekend. Yes, it’s predictable tripe, but it’s semi-entertaining predictable tripe that most people will watch, laugh over, and promptly forget. However, it is probably best viewed with a group of friends…at a matinee…in the dollar theater.
Besides, the day that tequila-addicted dogs and toddlers voluntarily eating Brillo pads and leaping off cabinets becomes not funny will be a sad, sad day indeed.