Yet another 'Big Momma' movie? Really?

Man, I didn't even know about Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son until a few weeks ago. Or maybe I did know about it at one time, but my brain blocked the info in an attempt to protect me from mental harm.

The movie is just about as bad as one would expect it to be. Actually, it's even worse than one would expect it to be—and more horrendous than the two previous Big Momma movies, something I didn't think was possible.

Martin Lawrence returns as Malcolm, the FBI agent who goes undercover as Big Momma, the obese alter ego that is so obviously somebody wearing a fat suit. Lawrence, of course, returns to his worn-out shtick of talking really slowly and wheezy while pretending he's an old Southern woman in a muumuu.

The twist this time out is that Malcolm's son, Trent (Brandon T. Jackson, a long way from his Tropic Thunder glory days), witnesses a murder, and must now dress as a woman, too. (His alter ego is Charmaine, and he can switch into his gear quicker than Clark Kent becoming Superman.) Malcolm and Trent wind up going undercover and chasing evidence at an all-girls art school, where Big Momma becomes the house mother and gets a residence among the young women. So you basically get Bosom Buddies without the comic genius that was Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari.

Of course, art school means music, and this movie has the audacity to inflict multiple musical numbers upon us. There's a cafeteria rap that turns into an all-out jam featuring instruments that clearly aren't being played magically appearing on the soundtrack. There are numerous moments when Trent sings lubby-dubby stuff with Haley (Jessica Lucas), his milquetoast love interest.

Trent is also a rap-star wannabe, and his big song is repeated ad nauseam throughout the film. Brandon T. Jackson's attempt at musical stardom via this film reminded me of when on Saved by the Bell, the "band" Zack Attack performed the audio nightmare "Friends Forever." That's how bad this movie is: It reminded me of Mario Lopez playing drums, and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen singing. (It should be noted that Screech wasn't half bad on the keyboards.)

The film is directed by John Whitesell (who also helmed the first sequel) and his "Yay, I'm a Director!" card should be revoked. He should be stopped, as should Raja Gosnell, who directed the original, along with two Scooby-Doo movies, Home Alone 3 and the upcoming Smurfs movie. It's very simple; when either one of them says, "Hey, I wanna make a movie!" just give them a cookie or a banana, and tell them to go play on the swing set. That trick totally worked on Mel Brooks after he directed Dracula: Dead and Loving It 16 years ago.

In supporting roles, there's Faizon Love as Kurtis Kool, a campus security guard who wants to have sex with Big Momma and forces her/him into a revolting game of Twister. (Faizon ... you must fire your agent now!) There's also Portia Doubleday, so good in the Michael Cera vehicle Youth in Revolt, playing the campus snoot. Finally, Ken Jeong, who showed his little penis in The Hangover, does something even more humiliating and destructive to his career by simply appearing in this film.

Is this the end for Big Momma? Sadly, probably not; these things still make a lot of money. As for Brandon T. Jackson's singing career, I heard teenagers singing that "Lyrical Miracle" song in the theater lobby, so he could have a hit on his hands. If that is the case, Satan is surely amongst us.

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
Rated PG-13 · 108 minutes · 2011
Official Site: www.bigmommashousemovie.com
Director: John Whitesell
Producer: David Friendly, Michael Green, Arnon Milchan, Martin Lawrence, Jeffrey Kwatinetz and Jeremiah Samuels
Cast: Martin Lawrence, Brandon T. Jackson, Jessica Lucas, Portia Doubleday, Tony Curran, Ana Ortiz, Sherri Shepherd, Michelle Ang, Emily Rios, Henri Lubatti, Lorenzo Pisoni, Max Casella, Marc Jefferies, Brandon Gill, Zack Mines, Trey Lindsey and Ken Jeong


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Portland Mercury The Laziest Minstrel Big Momma's back. Again. by Dave Bow 02/17/2011

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