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BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE 2

SYNOPSIS:
With his wife Sherrie (Nia Long) expecting their first child in a couple of weeks, FBI agent Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence) is now working at a routine desk job. But he misses the challenges in the field, and when he hears about a new deadly computer 'worm' allowing access to critical government intelligence files, he goes undercover. Donning his disguise for Big Momma, he takes the position of nanny to the dysfunctional Fuller family where the distracted father (Mark Moses) is a suspect, his ditzy wife (Emily Procter), their three problem children and a depressed dog.

Review by Louise Keller:
Putting the 'low' into low-brow humour, Big Momma's House 2 is essentially a series of sketches in which Martin Lawrence immerses himself into a fat suit and a frock and puts himself into ridiculous situations. But is it funny, I hear you ask? In a word (that rhymes with low) - no.

OK, I did chuckle twice - once when Big Momma sprayed the little pooch Poncho with Chanel 5 when asked to wash the dog, the other when she eats the eucalyptus soaked cucumber eyepads at the day spa frequented by Victoria's Secret lingerie models. Most of the time, the humour is so heavy handed, it feels as though the filmmakers are flinging oversize bricks. There's Big Momma doing backflips at a teen cheerleaders' display, riding the surf in a night jetski chase, teaching kids to dance and getting into all kinds of ungainly situations begging for laughs.

It might have been crass and rather silly, but I remember the original Big Momma's House five years ago was rather fun. The difference is that this script (different script writer) is nonsensical. It serves Martin Lawrence instead of the story, which of course means that Lawrence is not well served at all. If you know what I mean.

The plot in which Lawrence, tired of his FBI desk job, lies to his pregnant wife of eight months (Nia Long), stuffs his fat suit and a bouquet of matronly floral frocks into a suitcase, and infiltrates the suspect's family as the nanny, is downright embarrassing. Instead of playing it straight, Lawrence's Big Momma is a caricature, pouring milk into the cereal box and treating his charges in the dysfunctional family as idiots.

We are probably meant to laugh when Big Momma shrieks 'Ooooh I feel sexy,' after running along the beach wearing Bo Derek braids, her thunderous thighs wobbling like a pulsating jelly-fish. But we don't. We can only marvel at the work of the make-up wizards, who have converted Lawrence complete with facial hair, into the smooth-faced, larger-than-life fattie. The transformation is extraordinary, and Lawrence must be a patient man to undergo the rigors of spending a couple of hours in the make-up chair each day. As to the notion that we can be hoodwinked into believing a black man wearing a fat suit covered by nothing but a towel in a day spay filled with leggy lovelies, is credible? It's as believable as the poor little pooch drinking tequila.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE 2 (M)
(US, 2006)

CAST: Martin Lawrence, Elton Le Blanc, Nia Long, Michelle Parylak, Sarah Brown, Emily Procter, Zachary Levi, Mark Moses

PRODUCER: David T. Friendly and Michael Green

DIRECTOR: John Whitesell

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mark Irwin

EDITOR: Priscilla Nedd-Friendly

MUSIC: George S. Clinton

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Craig Stearns

RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 26, 2006

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment

VIDEO RELEASE: May 17, 2006







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